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  • Writer's pictureDennis McCaslin

Man who fled scene of accident and later located with body in back of truck senetenced to 15-years

A Fort Smith man charged with Manslaughter and Leaving the Scene of a Personal Accident in a February incident in which a bicyclist was killed and later located in the bed of the suspect's pickup truck was sentenced this week to fifteen years in prison with an additional fifteen years suspended after a plea deal in Fort Smith Circuit Court.

James Ray Jones, 42, of Fort Smith was arrested on March 12 after an investigation by the Fort Smith Police Department concluded he was driving the vehicle that struck and killed 57-year-old Christoper West, also of Fort Smith, on Grand Avenue between North 14th and North 16th Streets. adjacent to Darby Middle School.

The impact threw West's body into the back of the pick-up and Jones fled the scene, parking the truck behind his nearby residence. Police identified Jones as a suspect based on surveillance footage and said West went up and over the truck and landed in the bed. Police were first alerted to the scene when someone discovered a body part, later described as a leg, in the roadway.

Jones was sentenced as a Habitual Offender and his sentences were set to run currently.

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