Man Charged With Felony Murder For Killing Father Of 4 In Drunk Driving Crash

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Owen McNett was convicted of felony murder by a jury last month and had his punishment determined by a judge. He was sentenced to 35 years in prison for killing Wayne Childers, a 54-year-old father of four.

Owen McNett, 50, drove a Ram 1500 pickup into the side of Wayne Childers’ Buick Verano at a three-way stop in Cypress, killing Childers. He flew through a stop sign at 40 mph before T-boning Childers’ Buick Verano.

McNett was arrested at the hospital for driving while drunk and had a blood alcohol level of .31. The legal blood alcohol limit behind the wheel is only 0.08. Upon his arrest, he was driving with a blood alcohol level that was four times the legal limit.

McNett was convicted by a jury on Oct. 25, and his punishment will be determined by the judge. He faces a minimum of 25 years in prison and maximum of life. His sentencing was moved to November 16 after hearing from his defense attorney.

This is not the first time that the suspect has driven while drunk, with major consequences. Prior to the crash, McNett had previously been arrested for DWI five times. He already served three long stints in prison. He was convicted of DWI in 1992, 1996, 2006 and 2007 and was given a total of six years in prison.

However, McNett was convicted of much more than drunk driving. The severity of his sentence correlates to felony murder charges after the victim was killed in the crash. Murdering Wayne Childers while committing the felony of drunk driving is what contributed to this charge.

Sean Teare, chief of the District Attorney’s Office Vehicular Crimes Division, said he would seek a life sentence for McNett. His fear is that as long as he is out in society, he would have the opportunity to be a reoffender of this same heinous crime.

John Nightbridge is a veteran reporter, researcher, and economic policy major from UCLA. Passionate about world issues and potential ways to solve them is a significant focus of his work. Writing freelance and reading the news are John's passions at work. Outside of work, it's all about sky diving, surfing, and stock market modeling.