HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — A Madison County grand jury has indicted an Athens man with reckless murder stemming from a fatal crash on I-565 in 2021.
Online court records show Jacob Scott Stephens, 28, was indicted for two counts of reckless murder and two counts of first-degree assault on May 19 for the wreck that killed 47-year-old Arlene Veronica Velasquez and 24-year-old Hannah Parton.
Five more people were injured.
Stephens was arrested on October 5 in connection to the three-vehicle crash that happened on November 27, 2021. According to the Huntsville Police Department, Stephens was driving in the wrong direction on the interstate.
Stephens was charged with two counts of reckless murder, two counts of first-degree assault – DUI, and one count of reckless endangerment. The grand jury did not indict him on the reckless endangerment charge.
Madison County officials said they were finally able to arrest Stephens after they became aware of an incident in Lauderdale County.
According to the Lauderdale County Sheriff’s Office, Stephens was arrested by Florence Police for carrying a pistol without a permit, public intoxication, second-degree marijuana possession, and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Madison County Chief Assistant District Attorney Tim Gann said, “[Stephens] has continued to engage in dangerous behavior, they had no choice but to arrest him.”
Parton’s family called for justice and sued the person they say was responsible for the crash. A candlelight vigil was held in her memory in September.
According to court documents, Stephens was released from the Madison County Jail on a $300,000 bond.
Bond conditions include wearing a GPS-enabled ankle monitor with restrictions and surrendering his passport.
No trial or hearings were scheduled at the time this article was published.