A Fairland man Rolla Roy Werline, 25, was sentenced for charges of manslaughter while driving under the influence, and leaving the scene of a fatality accident.
The sentences were the result of an April 14, 2017 hit and run fatality that killed James L. Greer, 60, of Siloam Springs, Arkansas.
Werline entered a plea of guilty on April 20 without plea agreement through Public Defender, Attorney Andrew Meloy, according to Ottawa County District Court records and waived his right to a jury trial.
Subsequently, Werline’s sentencing was handed down on June 12 in Ottawa District Court by Judge Robert Haney.
Werline was sentenced on count one of manslaughter – driving under the influence to 20 years in the Department of Corrections and fined $1,000 and $100 to the Victims of Crime Assistance (VCA). On count two of leaving the scene of a fatality accident, Werline received a suspended sentence to run concurrent to count one with a $250 fine and $250 VCA.
“This case was difficult for everyone involved,” Assistant District Attorney Jennifer McAffrey said. “Both families have suffered a loss and will have to live with the consequences of this car wreck forever.”
Werline will receive credit for time served. His attorney filed a motion to withdraw Werline’s plea on June 15.
“After hearing their statement, reviewing Mr. Werline's pre-sentence investigation, and hearing arguments from both myself and Mr. Werline's attorney, Judge Haney followed the State's recommendation and sentenced Mr. Werline to 20 years in the Department of Corrections for count 1, manslaughter, followed by 10 years of probation for count 2, leaving the scene of a fatality accident,” McAffrey said. “We believe that's a fair outcome based on the facts of this case. The victim's family is satisfied that justice has been done, and I'm hopeful this has brought them a sense of closure and peace.”
“The victim's family chose not to be present for Mr. Werline's sentencing, but asked that I present their victim impact statement on their behalf,” McAffrey said. “It's difficult to read the words of a family member who has lost a loved one and not feel immense sorrow for them.”
Werline was initially charged with the three counts on April 17 and originally entered a plea of not guilty in connection with the 2017 fatality collision that occurred on Oklahoma State Highway 125 near Ottawa County Road 228.
According to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol report, Greer was riding a 1994 Harley Davidson Motorcycle and pulled onto Hwy. 125 from a private drive and was struck by Werline who was driving a 1994 Ford Explorer. Greer was thrown 132 feet on impact and pronounced dead at the scene.
Werline left the scene driving the Explorer.
According to the Affidavit for Arrest filed in Ottawa County District Court on April 18 by Oklahoma Highway Patrol Trooper Will Langley, Fairland Fire Chief Jeff Reynolds had received word of the identity of the driver of the vehicle that had fled, and Trooper Preston Konaman obtained the information and was told the driver was at Tom Cat Corner at U.S. Highway 59 and County Road East 250 in Delaware County.
“Upon arrival Konaman learned the individual had been taken to the Stage Coach Bar in Fairland and the vehicle he was driving was at a friend's house near the intersection of County Road South 580 south of County Road East 230 in Ottawa County. Trooper Konaman found the vehicle at the residence and Trooper Mica Gibe and Trooper Ruben Hernandez went to the Stage Coach Bar in Fairland to try to make contact with Werline. Hernandez and Gibe made contact with Werline and escorted him back to the scene,” Langley wrote in the affidavit.
Werline was read his Maranda Rights and asked about the wreck.
“Hernandez stated that Werline admitted to hitting the motorcycle and getting scared and leaving the scene,” Langley wrote.
Werline told Langley he had been drinking and had a beer and a half from 7:30 p.m. until leaving the bar.
Werline failed a field sobriety test and was arrested before agreeing and being transported to Miami Integris Hospital for a blood test. He was then booked into the Ottawa County Jail.
Werline was also found to be uninsured and was charged accordingly at the time.