TACOMA — A 26-year-old Tacoma man pleaded guilty to vehicular homicide and reckless endangerment in the death of his 9-year-old nephew, according to the Pierce County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.
Jayce Randall left a family barbeque March 16 with his nephew Donovan Best and his 8-year old niece. He admitted to drinking too much and smoking marijuana before getting behind the wheel.
He was headed west on State Route 16 when he sped up as he exited onto Purdy Drive Northwest. The 8-year-old started crying and asked her uncle to slow down. Right after that, he lost control of the car on a curve, flew off the road and rolled at least once. Randall and Donovan were thrown from the car. They were only wearing the shoulder straps of their seat belts. Randall’s niece was fully belted in and survived without any injuries.
Donovan died the next day. Jayce Randall will be sentenced Oct. 4. He could face up to 8 1/2 years in prison under new, harsher sentencing guidelines that went into effect after the 2012 legislative session. Previous penalties topped out at 3 years and four months.