PART-OWNER OF CENTRALIA NEWSPAPER PLEADS GUILTY TO RECKLESS HOMICIDE

PART-OWNER OF CENTRALIA NEWSPAPER PLEADS GUILTY TO RECKLESS HOMICIDE

MARION COUNTY — A 59-year-old Centralia businessman pleaded guilty Wednesday in Marion County court to reckless homicide in a crash last spring that took the life of an Odin man.

In addition to the Class 3 felony reckless homicide charge, Thomas F. Joy had been charged with misdemeanor driving under the influence of alcohol and failure to yield the right-of-way at an intersection for a May 15 crash that claimed the life of 65-year-old Jerry Clarkson.

Joy pleaded guilty  to the felony charge in exchange for the DUI and traffic citation being dismissed. A Class 3 felony is punishable by between 2 and 5 years in prison if convicted.

According to authorities Joy reportedly pulled his pickup truck out of an alleyway next to the Broadway Tavern in Central City and into the path of Clarkson’s motorcycle.

Joy, who refused to take a breathalyzer test, was not injured in the crash. He was arrested but then released from the Central City police department where he posted $100 bond.

He was later charged with the felony and posted an additional $2,500 bond.

This is the second DUI Joy has received in Marion County. In 1991 he was charged and convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol. He was sentenced in the first case to court supervision.

Judge Mark Stedelin ordered a pre-sentencing investigation to be performed in the most recent case and scheduled a sentencing hearing for February 6, 2019.