Man charged with murder appears in court

By: Angela Sparkman Email
By: Angela Sparkman Email

A man charged with murder in the death of an 11-year-old boy appears in court Wednesday morning.

Robert Shawn Powers is accused of driving under the influence when his truck hit a car, killing Austyn Stapleton.

The family of Austyn Stapleton filled the courtroom and said they want justice, but the defense attorney says this is not murder, and calls it just an accident.

Austyn Stapleton's family wore his picture and shed tears as they saw his accused killer in court.

Robert Shawn Powers is charged with murder and DUI.

Sheriff Deputies testified he was driving close to 100 miles an hour on Highway 321 when he lost control and crashed into a car.

Austyn Stapleton was in the back seat and died.

“He always had a smile. He was just an 11 year old boy,” Tom Stapleton said.

Sheriff Deputies say Powers failed all field sobriety tests, but the defense attorney claims Powers has a clean record and was not on drugs or alcohol at the time of the crash.

“I believe when the tests come back they're not going to show anything in his system. I believe when the tests come back this will show this was just an accident,” Gerald DeRossett said.

The judge sent the case to the grand jury to decide the charges.

The judge kept his bond at half a million dollars.

The Stapleton family says three other children were in the car at the crash, but all are okay.

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