Teen sentenced in traffic death

Published 10:42 pm Thursday, March 31, 2016

Attorney General Luther Strange announced the conviction of a man who was speeding and left the scene of an accident without reporting it, abandoning his passenger to die. John Gray, also known as John Carlton Gray, 19, pleaded guilty this morning in Coffee County Circuit Court to manslaughter and failure to report an accident.

The victim was 18-year-old Griffin Jones.

The Attorney General’s Criminal Trials Division presented information about the crime. On May 3, 2015, Gray was driving approximately 80 miles an hour in a 55 miles-per-hour zone, recklessly causing the death of Griffin.

The vehicle crashed into a utility pole and two trees, and caught fire. Gray left the vehicle and hid in the woods for several hours without reporting the crash to authorities.

He was sentenced to ten years concurrently for each conviction.

The sentence was suspended for him to serve 18 months in prison followed by supervised probation and to pay $15,119 in restitution, as well as court costs and fees.

“This defendant showed an appalling disregard for the life of his victim, and it is appropriate that he will serve time in prison for his crimes,” said Attorney General Strange.

Attorney General Strange commended those who are handling this case, noting in particular Assistant Attorneys General Bill Lisenby and James Rutter of his Criminal Trials Division, Special Agents of the Attorney General’s Investigations Division, and Sarah Green, chief of the Attorney General’s Office of Victim Assistance. He thanked the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency, whose State Troopers handled the crash investigation.