By Joshua Winata
Killeen Daily Herald
LAMPASAS – Lampasas resident Kory Porter, 18, was sentenced to eight years of probation and issued a $8,000 fine on Thursday for the Feb. 24 death of classmate Jordan Evans.
Porter pleaded guilty in the 27th District Court on Wednesday to a charge of reckless manslaughter, which is punishable by up to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. He also was charged with intoxicated manslaughter but pleaded not guilty and was acquitted of the offense.
According to witness testimony and reports from the Texas Department of Public Safety, Porter was driving with four friends from Lampasas High School after a baseball game in his new 2001 Dakota Dodge truck on the evening of Feb. 24.
Speeding at about 80 mph, he lost control of his vehicle on a curve on Farm-to-Market 3170 and smashed into a utility pole. The truck rolled and landed on its cab.
Evans was pronounced dead at the scene, while Porter and three other teenagers were transported to various hospitals.
Porter admitted to pitching in money to purchase a 12-pack of beer and consuming four to five beers between 9 p.m. and midnight that evening.
During the sentencing trial, Lampasas District Attorney Larry Allison, representing the state, called Evans' mother, Josephina Reza, to the stand in an emotional, tear-filled appeal for a harsher sentence.
"The impact, despite how I describe it, I don't think anyone can fully comprehend the overwhelming pain and the inconsolable days and nights that I have," Reza said.
Allison implored the jury to set a standard for conduct within the county.
"Punishment, deterrence and retribution all have a role in this case," he said.
The defense, represented by Waco attorney Abelino Reyna, depicted Porter as a hardworking, dependable and responsible young man with no criminal history or previous alcohol abuse who deeply regretted his actions. Based on testimony from high school counselors, employers and his mother, Porter was a good student in a cooperative program with talent and ambitions in agricultural mechanics.
"You have a unique opportunity to reach out to your community here in Lampasas," Reyna said. "It is hard for me as a lawyer to find the words within me to present to you to make an appeal to understand how this case is a probation case."
The jury retired at 4 p.m. and took five hours to return with the sentence. District Judge Joe Carroll will set the terms of the probation in December following a pre-sentencing investigation.
Contact Joshua Winata at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (254) 547-6481