Drunk driver receives probated sentence, 120 days in jail after manslaughter conviction

Published: Aug. 5, 2022 at 5:32 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Maxwell Ezell was handed a 10-year probated sentence and 120 days of jail time for a manslaughter conviction in the death of Tanya Jones in 2017.

In the early morning hours of March 12, 2017, in the 6200 block of 19th Street, a Camaro driven by Maxwell Ezell struck the back of a Mazda being driven by Tanya Jones at an extremely high rate of speed before rear-ending another vehicle stopped at the northbound stop sign of 1900 Kewanee. Jones was taken to University Medical Center, where she died.

According to the police report, responding officers conducted a number of field sobriety tests and then transported Ezell to the Lubbock County Detention Center, where they carried out a forensic blood draw to measure Ezell’s blood alcohol content. He was charged with Intoxication Manslaughter and later released on a $75,000 bond.

According to the Daily Toreador, Tanya Jones was a senior English major at Texas Tech University, where Ezell also worked as an IT support technician.

Jones, aside from being a non-traditional student, was an Air Force veteran, volunteer, Uber driver, a member of the Lubbock Toastmasters, and a columnist for The Daily Toreador. In the last article she wrote before the incident, Jones highlighted the various tools and resources available to her fellow Tech students to make their college careers a success. Tech lowered their school flag in her honor.

Randall Merriott, a fellow member of the Toastmasters and friend of Jones said, in an interview with the Daily Toreador, “She was a gifted lady with lots of energy and zest for life. We enjoyed having her as a member of the Lubbock Toastmasters Club. As the club’s Sergeant-at-Arms, I was responsible for setting up the room, but she was almost always the first one there in the morning.”

Ezell was given a suspended 10-year prison sentence and 120 days in jail with supervised conditions, including the installation of Interlock on his vehicle and regular tests to verify sobriety. If he fails to meet the conditions of his probation, he faces up to 10 years in jail.

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