A Centerville woman pleaded no contest on Tuesday to manslaughter charges in the February death of her former husband, admitting she deliberately crashed the car she was driving on I-15 into a semitrailer truck in an attempt to kill him, herself, and their son.
Rebecca W. Holt, 39, 355 E. 825 North, pleaded no contest in 2nd District Court to manslaughter in the death of her former husband, Walter A. Todd, and to attempted manslaughter in the case of her son, Richard A. Todd.She was initially charged with manslaughter and attempted homicide, both second-degree felonies. In a plea negotiation with the Davis County Attorney's office, the manslaughter charge was retained and the attempted homicide charge was reduced to attempted manslaughter.
Prosecutor Carvel Harward told Judge Douglas L Cornaby that as part of the plea bargain, he will treat the two charges as a single criminal incident, recommending concurrent rather than consecutive sentences. He will also recommend mental counseling and treatment for Holt rather than incarceration, Harward said.
Harward said Holt was under extreme pressure at the time of the Jan. 11 incident, despondent over her failed marriage to Todd and under stress in her subsequent marriage.
The manslaughter charges include a clause noting Holt acted under extreme emotional disturbance or mental duress.
Harward told Judge Cornaby that on Jan. 11, Holt drove onto I-15 at Centerville with her former husband and son Richard, who is handicapped, in the car. She aimed it at a truck near North Salt Lake and tried to drive under it, Harward said.
The truck struck her car, pushing it off the highway. Walter Todd was severely injured and died a month later, Harward said. Richard Todd has recovered from his injuries and Holt was not injured. No other persons, including the truck driver, were injured, Harward said.
Judge Cornaby set sentencing for May 2. The second-degree felony manslaughter charge carries a prison term of one to 15 years and the third-degree attempted manslaughter charges carries a zero-to-five-year prison term.