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Former Monticello Resident Pleads Guilty to DWI Death

September 28th, 2012 by

Last Friday, a former resident of Monticello was sentenced to 10 years in prison, plus 10 more years suspended for the death of a Pulaski County driver.

On September, 13, 2010,  a 32 year old Benton resident, formerly of Monticello, had just brought his wife and 4 day old daughter home from the hospital. Around 3 pm, that day, he left home to get his 18 month old son from daycare.

At 3: 15 pm on Interstate 30 with his infant son in his 2009 GMC pickup, Brian Keith McDaniel crashed into the rear of a 1998 GMC pickup, driven by Neil Melton, age 75,  near the Saline County line.  Melton’s vehicle then hit guard rail, rolled over, and was crushed.   Efforts to revive Melton failed, and he was pronounced dead at the scene.

McDaniel’s blood sample registered at .24, three times the legal limit.

The electronic data recorder in McDaniel’s truck showed he was traveling at  98 mph at the time of the crash.

He pled guilty at Friday’s sentencing hearing  and received 10 years for negligent  homocide.  He will also serve 6 year (to run concurrent) for endangering the welfare of his minor son, who was also injured in the crash.

McDaniel also pled guilty to another DWI on January 5, 2011, in Saline County.

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16 Responses to “Former Monticello Resident Pleads Guilty to DWI Death”

  1. K says:

    OMG! Driving drunk and going 98 mph with a baby on board??
    That’s just insane. Will ppl EVER learn??
    Terrible tragedy. Thank God he didn’t kill the baby.
    To the family that lost a loved one, you’re in my thoughts and Prayers.

  2. davidwmsmith says:

    Sympathy and prayers to the victims family! My only concern is that the sentences run concurrently and not consecutively!! He’ll be out in 5 or six years, and the victim will still be dead!!

  3. Worse than sad says:

    I knew about the accident as well as someone loosing their life but did not have a clue there was alcohol involved. Prayers to the family of the lost loved one and also the wife, children, family and friends of the one going to prison.

  4. PR says:

    To answer your question, NO,people will never learn, at least not 47% of them..

  5. Friend says:

    Those poor children now have to grow up without their daddy is such a sad outcome along with a wife that will raise the children without the daddy. Also a family that will never get to see their family member that was killed sending prayers to both families involved.

  6. Me says:

    First of all you all need to get the facts straight it was an accident the driver was NOT drunk he was speeding on the intersate but not 98 he and his family are as much of a victim of shotty cops as anyone. Untill any of you can say you are perfect dont you dare judge brian he is a good person and got caught up in this hell we call a justice system so GET YOUR FACTS FIRST prayers for the families

  7. Oh my says:

    To Me: Are they making up his blood alcohol level? Regardless, going 98 miles in a car with a child is not any better than being drunk or not drunk. I’m not perfect by any means, but just curious.

  8. lacey resident says:


  9. Proof Vs. “ME” says:

    “Me”: He was NOT drunk
    Shotty cop: PROOF .24 Blood Alcohol contents three times the legal limit
    “Me” he was speeding on the intersate but not 98
    PROOF shown by electronic data recorder shows the speed at time of impact on Mr. McDaniel’s vehicle not the shotty cops vehicle
    Shotty Cop: Investigated the accident not because he wanted to but because Mr. McDaniel made a mistake so the shotty cop had no choice but to investigate it
    “Me” he and his family are as much of a victim
    His family is just as much of a victim HE is not.
    Final outcome: MR. MCDAINEL PLED GUILTY by choice the shotty cop didn’t make him.
    Prayers for the victim’s family, the defendant’s family and also the one that made the mistake.

  10. reader says:

    1. Sometimes people plead guilty for other reasons…legally he’s guilty now because he plead it (so the arguement in Proof v. Me is irrelevant)…but the reality MIGHT be something different considering this plea comes TWO years after the incident.

    2. At times there are things that call into question Blood Alcohol Levels & Black Box readings…perhaps “me” knows some of these things, and perhaps they matter to some involved…legally they don’t anymore…

    3. There COULD be other contributors to the accident that just aren’t discussed in this article?

    4. A man still died…and another man is now behind bars for it…BOTH family’s are impacted…and neither FAMILY is at fault regardless of the plea…

  11. Shame on you for defending this man loser who needs your prayers , shame on you—he is sick and he needs help—-at this point it is not about the facts, or cops—it is about 2 families, children , and an addict who is sick—HOW DID HE DARE GET ANOTHER DWI AFTER THIS HAPPENED!!!!ASHAME ON YOU FOR DEFENDING HIM AND NOT HELPING HIM!!!!!

  12. Reader says:

    1. I personally would NEVER plead guilty for anything I did NOT do no matter if it is a week later or 2 years later the time frame is irrelevant if I DID NOT DO IT. On September 13, 2010 is when this accident happened Mr. McDaniel also plead guilty a totally separate DWI on January 5, 2011. If you have anything to do with court cases you know most cases take awhile since there are many different court hearings before the trial. If I had already pled to a DWI prior to my trial date for this accident I would probably go ahead and plea guilty to this instead of facing a jury of 12 people that would get to decide my fate. So that was a smart choice I would think.

    2.Honestly you don’t thing the BAC, blood sample and electronic data recorder is all 3 “in question” I don’t know him and cant/wont say he is a bad person everyone makes mistakes. But how can the blame be pointed at the law enforcement that took the readings, sample etc? Would you still feel the same way if the man that is deceased were your family?

    3. Very much agree there could be other contributing factors but in those factors you will also find DWI and high rate of speed WITH HIS CHILD IN THE VEHICLE to top it off.

    4.Very much agree again a man died, a man is going to jail both families are impacted and neither FAMILY is at fault. However had the gentleman that chose to drive after drinking a large amount of alcohol and driving at a high rate of speed made the choice not to do any of the above this accident could have been avoided!

    5.Prayers are being sent for both families impacted by this horrible outcome and also for Mr. McDaniel.

  13. Roy Montgomery says:

    I did not see one comment that said anything about the DUI he plead guilty to on January 5th 2011 just 4 months after killing a man. DUI is not an accident, speeding is not an accident. These are intentional acts. Brian should have been sentenced to life. He has not learned not to drink and drive. What will he do when he gets out.

  14. Teena says:

    Just want to send prayers out to all involved. Even though the man was drinking he still needs our prayers to overcome the addiction. His family needs prayers to cope with not having him in their lives on a daily basis and the people who lost a loved one needs our prayers to forgive this man and overcome any hatred they may have towards him. God be with everyone involved…

  15. reader says:

    other”Reader” –
    1. don’t say you’d NEVER plead guilty for something you didn’t do…you never know what you’ll do in a situation until you’re in it… (a for instance not directly related to this case, but if you were offered probation on an offence, but if you took it to jury were risking 20 years in jail…and you have a family…you’d consider it, I’m sure!)…I pray you’re never in any situation to be faced with such choices… The reason I mentioned the 2 yrs to plead guilty is if you know anything about the court system you know the inital plea takes place EARLY in the case…so the 2 years later is significant…

    2. BAC stands for Blood Alcohol – so those you are crediting with 2 different things are the same – there are only TWO things I’m saying COULD have issues…and do a little research on black boxes in general – the reading from the box requires some additional information to ensure it is accurate – it assumes no issues with vehicles etc. I’m thankful it’s not my family, but I do hope the family learns all the details not just the few “facts” the media has published

    3. You’re assumptions in this one depend on the accuracy of the BAC (aka blood test) & the black box. The article says he went to get his son from daycare, so the daycare workers must have not suspected him being intoxicated to have let him leave with the child???

    4. my comments are same as #3 to this one…

    5. This is my point all together – both familys and Mr. McDaniel need prayers!

    Roy – there were 2 years between the accident and when he plead guilty…maybe he did overcome his addiction…you know one of the steps in AA is atoning for what you’ve done…

    I so agree with Teena!!! Well said!

  16. David Prince says:

    Who are yall to sit in judgement. I worked with the man for 8 months and he was a good man whom loved his wife and family very much. I’m sure he regrets what happened an I’m sure he is more punishment to himself than prison will ever be . Prayers for the families.

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