STAFF WRITER CONNIE SWINNEY
BURNET — A Burnet County grand jury cleared a Marble Falls man of an intoxication manslaughter charge, but the defendant still faces a prison sentence for violating his probation due to alcohol detected in his system at the time of the incident, officials say.
On Nov. 7, a Burnet County grand jury no-billed Jimmy Lerma, 50, on the charge of intoxication manslaughter, a second-degree felony.
The case involved the July 30 death of 36-year-old Jerrod Bradford Young of Mount Pleasant, who was walking in the southbound inside lane on U.S. 281 in Marble Falls just after 10:45 p.m.
“(Lerma) was following behind another car in the inside lane southbound on 281 (south of Stripes), and he noticed the car in front of him swerve abruptly into the outside lane, and he felt a collision,” Marble Falls Police Capt. Glenn Hanson said. “He stopped to try to see what he hit. That’s when he saw Mr. Young in the roadway.
“(Lerma) remained on scene and cooperated with investigators,” he added. “He was noticeably upset.”
According to the police report, Lerma was charged on suspicion of driving while intoxicated when an investigating officer “detected an odor of alcohol.”
“It was presented to the grand jury as all deaths are,” Hanson said. “With the presentation of the facts (alleging intoxication manslaughter). They returned a no bill.”
A no bill reflects that a grand jury did not perceive enough evidence existed to take the case to a trial for prosecution.
“The results came back (that) he was not legally intoxicated, so he won’t be charged with a DWI,” said Hanson of the charge on the night of the incident.
However, toxicology results did indicate a “detectable amount of alcohol” in Lerma’s system, which resulted in a review of Lerma’s probationary status on an unrelated charge, officials confirmed.
At the time of the collision, Lerma was serving probation for a May 2017 charge of possession of a controlled substance in Llano County.
“Because he had a detectable amount of alcohol in his blood, it violated his supervised release, so he (is scheduled to be) sent to (the Texas Department of Criminal Justice) to serve out the remainder of that sentence,” Hanson said. “I believe it to be four years.”
According to court documents, Lerma’s probation was revoked Nov. 3.
As of Nov. 21, Lerma remained in the Burnet County Jail awaiting transport to a facility with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, according to a Burnet County Jail official.