Aviano airman gets prison time, discharge for role in drunken driving death
By JENNIFER H. SVAN | STARS AND STRIPES Published: June 12, 2014
KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany — An airman assigned to Aviano Air Base, Italy, is headed to prison for crashing his car while driving drunk last summer and causing the death of his passenger, a fellow airman.
Airman Demarrius R. Jeffers received a prison sentence of two years and six months at a court-martial before a military judge and no jury Tuesday at Aviano, according to information provided by Capt. Lacie Jo Collins, an Aviano base spokeswoman.
Jeffers pleaded guilty to drunken driving and involuntary manslaughter. Killed in the crash last June was Airman 1st Class Dennis A. Felton II, a 21-year-old from Cleveland. A member of the 31st Security Forces Squadron, Felton died only four months after arriving at Aviano, his first duty station. He joined the Air Force in August 2012.
Jeffers, a traffic management journeyman assigned to the 31st Logistics Readiness Squadron, was also reduced in rank to airman basic and given a bad-conduct discharge from the Air Force, according to information from Collins.
With a blood-alcohol concentration of at least .10 percent, Jeffers on June 2, 2013, was driving his vehicle about twice the posted speed limit when he veered into oncoming traffic, drove off the road and crashed, according to the charge sheet in the case. The accident occurred about 5 a.m. off base, near the intersection of what Americans refer to as the “A-P highway” (SP-7) and Via Menegoz, not far from the base’s north gate.
Felton was a passenger in the vehicle’s front seat, the charge sheet says.
Hundreds of airmen and friends attended a memorial service for Felton at Aviano last June, according to an Air Force news release.
Airman Demarrius R. Jeffers was sentenced Tuesday, June 10, 2014, in connection with the 2013 crash in which Airman 1st Class Dennis A. Felton was killed. Hundreds of service members came together to honor Felton, a 31st Security Forces security response team member, during a memorial ceremony last year.
RYAN WHITNEY/U.S. AIR FORCE