Former Northern High student sentenced in DWI death
A former Northern High School student charged with DWI in a crash that killed an NHS graduate in 2011 pled guilty to involuntary manslaughter last week in Durham County Superior Court.
Christopher Park Haun, 19, was sentenced to 15 to 18 months in the death of 20-year-old Hillsborough resident Justin Daniel Mylott.
Troopers said the crash happened about 2 a.m. Oct. 13, 2011, along U.S. 501 in Bahama.
The car went off the road and into a ditch, hit a tree and overturned, the patrol said.
Mylott and a female passenger were thrown from the vehicle.
Haun and two other passengers – 19-year-old Stephanie James of Roxboro and 25-year-old Stephanie Mundy of Timberlake – were treated at Duke Hospital.
Durham attorney Bill Thomas, who represented Haun in court last week, said his client was indicted on July 16, 2012, on charges of felony death by motor vehicle and two counts of felonious injury by vehicle. When he’s released from prison, Haun will be placed on probation for other charges unrelated to the fatal crash, Thomas said.
Court officials said Haun was also charged with obtaining property under false pretenses, misdemeanor larceny and felony larceny.
In an email last week, Sgt. Jeff Gordon of the N.C. State Highway Patrol said the initial collision report didn’t indicate Haun’s blood-alcohol content but stated “suspected” alcohol use.
“It appears that blood was taken on the date of the collision and then submitted to the SBI for analysis,” Gordon wrote. “The results evidently must have been returned to the investigating trooper recently.”
It could not be determined immediately from the SBI how long it took analysts to get those results to Durham authorities.
But a supplemental report dated July 8, 2013, states that Haun had a blood-alcohol content of 0.3, high enough to support the charge of felony death by motor vehicle because Haun was under the legal age to use alcohol.
Thomas said there was “some delay” in the SBI blood test results.
“But I don’t think the delay here is quite as pronounced and quite as serious as in other cases, such as rape and murder,” he said.
Thomas, who has handled serious felony cases, said lab-test delays from the SBI are the worst he’s ever seen.
“There have been SBI delays in very serious cases such as homicides,” Thomas said. “We have one now where we have been awaiting DNA results for over a year. I’ve been practicing law for 34 years, and this is absolutely the worst I’ve ever seen.”
“These criminal cases are very important matters of the highest priority, and I think the delays in some of these cases are inexcusable.”