Seymour teen pleads guilty in connection with girlfriend's death - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Seymour teen pleads guilty in connection with girlfriend's death

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Tyler Ross Tyler Ross
Brooke Hawn Brooke Hawn

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A Seymour, Ind. man accused of recklessly crashing a car and killing his passenger pleaded guilty to charges related to the incident Wednesday.

It's been just over a year since 16-year-old Brooke Hawn was killed in a car crash. Today, the driver of that vehicle accepted a plea deal on an amended charge.

Tyler Ross, 19, admits it was his fault that the car he was driving plunged into the White River, killing Hawn. The coroner says Hawn died from trauma, hypothermia, and drowning.

On Wednesday, Ross pleaded guilty to charges of causing a death while operating a vehicle under the influence of an amphetamine--a class C felony.

"I felt it was the right thing to do," Ross told WDRB as he left the courtroom.

But the family says they believe it wasn't an accident -- that Brooke was murdered, and Ross should be facing tougher charges.

"There's too many things that prove that there's more that went on than just the accident," said James Hawn, Brooke's father. "When that car was retrieved from the river, it was on its top, the ignition turned off, transmission was in neutral, and there were tire tracks going right into the river."

Ross was originally charged with reckless homicide. Jackson County prosecutors amended the charge when the toxicology results came back.

"We believe having him plead guilty to a schedule one or two in his blood is more reflective of his actual behavior," said Amy Marie Travis, the Jackson County prosecuting attorney.

By accepting the plea deal, Ross waives his right to a jury trial, but Brooke's family says they want a full trial where all the evidence can be presented.

"If they would see all the evidence that's in this file, it wouldn't be going this way," said James Hawn.

Ross will be sentenced January 22.

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