Tech student indicted for Intoxication Manslaughter

Brian Hawthorne, Source: Lubbock County Sheriff's Office
Brian Hawthorne, Source: Lubbock County Sheriff's Office

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Texas Tech student Brian Cody Hawthorne, 26, was indicted Tuesday on three counts of intoxication manslaughter and three counts of aggravated assault.

Hawthorne's family released this statement on Tuesday:

"We want to thank everyone for the overwhelming love and support that has been given to Cody. We espec ially want to thank the Best Buy Family, the Doctors and Nurses at UMC, the Texas Tech Community, and all of the friends and family of those involved in the accident. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Almaguer, Johnson and Whitmore families and friends. You are not alone in your hurt. We, including Cody, are hurting too. Our family wants the Almaguer, Johnson and Whitmore families to feel the outpouring of love, care and support that Cody has received. This accident is so hard for all of us to comprehend, but we are holding close to our Faith knowing that somehow, God is in control of this."

Hawthorne's attorney, Jason Trumpler, Lead attorney for Trumpler, Troberman & Huie also released a statement:

"This event is tragic for Cody, his family, the victim's families, and the Lubbock community at large.

"At this point, there are lots of questions that must be answered before the Truth can even be assessed. Over time, the facts of this case will come to light and we ask the people of Lubbock County to keep an open mind irrespective of what they may hear or read until the case is resolved in a court of law. Today, it is important to focus on the loss of the three members of the Lubbock community. Cody sincerely appreciates the outpouring of support from the Almaguer family, the Johnson family and the Texas Tech Community. Cody and the Hawthorne family asks the Lubbock community to turn their thoughts and prayers to the three families most affected by this accident on Saturday night: the Almaguer, the Johnson and the Whitmore families. Words cannot express Cody's remorse and sorrow for the loss of his two best friends and Mr. Whitmore. Cody's heart, the entire Hawthorne family's heart, our hearts, and the hearts of everyone in the Lubbock community should be focused on those that died in this terrible tragedy on Saturday night.

"Cody will be moving out of Lubbock to recover from his injuries this semester, but plans to return to Texas Tech to finish his last 30 hours and graduate from the school he loves so dearly. We ask for everyone to respect the sensitivity of this case, and to remember that although Cody has been charged with very serious offenses, everyone deserves to be treated as innocent until proven guilty. Cody asked us to tell everyone that his thoughts and prayers are with all of those affected by this accident. He especially wants to extend his prayers to the Almaguer, the Johnson and the Whitmore families."


Hawthorne was arrested and charged on Thursday, Feb. 2, immediately following his release from the hospital.  Lubbock Police say he was the driver in an accident that left three people dead last month.

Lubbock Police say Hawthorne was driving south on the 500 block of University Avenue the night of the accident. The arrest warrant states a witness saw Hawthorne drive at "a high rate of speed…lose control… and roll the truck."

As the truck rolled witnesses say the truck struck 68-year-old Courtland Whitmore who was riding his bicycle from work after a shift at the Overton Hotel. Whitmore died instantly.

Flipped on its passenger side, the truck continued to slide down the west sidewalk on University until hitting a fire hydrant. The warrant says the hydrant went through the windshield hitting front passenger Arturo Almaguer, 23. The hydrant hit Almaguer's head killing him.

The warrant then says the hydrant went into the back seat striking 27-year-old Kendrick Johnson, and killing him.

Witnesses then say they saw Hawthorne crawl out of the hole in the windshield made by the fire hydrant. When police got there he was said to be "lying on the road yelling in pain."

While in the ambulance, paramedics say they "smelled alcohol on his breath." When they asked if he had been drinking, the arrest warrant says Hawthorne said "yeah." The paramedic asked "how much?" but Hawthorne did not reply.

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