TYLER, Texas (KETK) – A Tyler man pleaded guilty Thursday morning to a manslaughter charge from a 2019 boat crash on Lake Palestine that killed 14-year-old Roberto Carlos Bermejo Hernandez.
34-year-old Jeffrey Hampton admitted to hitting Hernandez, who was standing on a dock, with a boat.
While he admitted guilt for the crime, he requested a jury trial for the punishment phase, which is set to begin Monday morning.
Assistant District Attorney Noah Coltman announced in the 114th District Court he will add special instructions for the jury to determine whether Hampton used the boat as a deadly weapon.
This would affect the sentencing the jury could give Hampton. Currently, the jury could sentence him anywhere between 5 to 99 years in prison.
Hernandez was a TISD student and had just finished middle school at Moore Middle School.