Kareame Cotton Sr. (Photo: PCSO)
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - A Little Rock man pleaded not guilty Thursday to negligent homicide in the New Year's car accident which killed a Little Rock pastor and his 10-year-old granddaughter.
"He's probably going to face an escape charge, and we're leaving the door open because two other people were injured in this accident and depending on our analysis, there could be additional charges of battery for causing injury to the other two occupants of the car," said Pulaski County Prosecutor Larry Jegley.
There were two wrecks that happened that day in approximately the same location on I-30 near the Scott Hamilton exit. Pastor Larry Harris of Oak Grove Baptist Church in Little Rock was killed along with his granddaughter, Maci Harris.
Jegley said in the first accident, a driver, who they are not naming, rear ended a car containing 2-month-old Robert Cecola, Jr.
"Given the circumstances [investigators] didn't see any criminal liability in that first accident," said Jegley.
Authorities said Kareame Cotton, of Little Rock, then approached the scene at a high rate of speed. Cotton allegedly hit a car containing Pastor Harris, his granddaughter and 4 other people.
The prosecutor said Cotton was placed in handcuffs and put into the front of a patrol car. They said at some point, Cotton managed to unlock the doors and escaped. Authorities said they later found Cotton sitting in a family member's vehicle, trying to disguise himself.
Cotton was arrested and charged with two counts of negligent homicide and escape.
"The negligent homicide statute class B felonies carries up to 30 years in prison as punishment and carries an element that involves the DWI," said Jegley.
Jegley said Cotton is not responsible for the death of Cecola as the incidents are not related.
Cotton is jailed on a $100,000 bond. His attorney is seeking a reduction to his bond.
Follow Daniel on Twitter: https://twitter.com/dan_wilkerson