Probation revoked for driver in fatal Juneau DUI

JUNEAU -- A Juneau man convicted of negligent homicide after a fatal crash in 2009 has been ordered back to jail.

Thomas Tyler Emerson, 21, on Wednesday in Juneau Superior Court acknowledged he drank alcohol and got behind the wheel of a vehicle, violating terms of his probation.

Judge Philip Pallenberg scheduled a sentencing hearing for Oct. 31.

Emerson’s felony case began a few days after he graduated from high school at age 18. Prosecutors said he drove drunk with two passengers in his car and lost control near Mile 37 Glacier Highway.

Taylor Bristol White, 18, a childhood friend of Emerson, was ejected in the crash. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Emerson also was ejected.

He pleaded guilty to criminal negligent and was sentenced in August 2010 to six years in prison with five years suspended.

The Juneau Empire reports Emerson avoided prison. He served his term in a halfway house and with electronic monitoring. He was released on probation in May 2011 with the condition that he not possess or consume alcohol.

Authorities say Emerson was driving a car pulled over by police for speeding June 21 on the North Douglas Highway. Two passengers were inside. Police say Emerson’s his blood alcohol content was .049 percent, below the .08 percent level at which a driver is presumed drunk.

Probation officer Sara E. Dallas petitioned that day to revoke Emerson’s probation. He was released later in the month on $2,500 bail to a third-party custodian, his father.

Emerson in court admitted drinking three beers before driving and agreed he had a bottle of tequila and a flask containing alcohol in his car.

Associated Press