Meridian Star

February 3, 2014

Aggravated DUI charge against MSU student reduced

Associated Press

STARKVILLE, Miss — An aggravated DUI charge against a Mississippi State University student has been reduced.

WCBI TV reports ( ) 19-year-old Sawyer Thomas Steede originally was arrested on the stiffer penalty following a September 17 accident that killed Kaleb Barker.

Barker died when the pickup Steede was driving lurched in reverse and over a curb at the Starkville McDonald's, throwing Barker and another student from the bed of the truck and running over him.

But the Oktibbeha County grand jury reduced the charge to first offense DUI after Steede's attorney Rod Ray presented expert testimony from the truck's computer system that Steede didn't push on the gas, but instead the truck accelerated on its own.

No trial date has been set for the DUI charge.