By Patti Weaver

 

    (Stillwater, Okla.) — A 20-year-old Stillwater man accused of drunk driving in a fatal head-on collision on Highway 177 three miles north of Stillwater at 3:19 am on Feb. 20 was ordered to stand trial on a first-degree manslaughter charge at the close of a preliminary hearing last week.
    Cody Bronc Keeth remains free on $50,000 bond pending his arraignment in trial court on Dec. 9 before Payne County District Judge Phillip Corley.
    If convicted of causing the death of Mary Ann Leeper of Perry by drunk driving a 2011 Toyota Camry or in the alternative by driving left of center, Keeth could be given a prison term ranging from four years to life.
    The victim, who was driving a 2010 Ford Mustang, was pronounced dead at the collision scene by attending paramedics, Oklahoma Highway Patrol Traffic Homicide Investigator Joshua Byrd wrote in an affidavit.
    “Test results later revealed that Keeth’s blood alcohol level was .15,” which is nearly twice the level for intoxication, the affidavit said.
    Keeth’s cell phone contained “various group text messages discussing the locations of parties, arrival time of different individuals, referencing drinking alcoholic beverages, and recorded videos portraying Keeth and others consuming alcoholic beverages,” the affidavit alleged.
    The trooper “interviewed the hosts of three parties where Keeth had visited. Each host verified Keeth was present and underage drinking was occurring,” the affidavit alleged.
    The trooper “recovered from the Toyota at the crash scene an open 30-pack case of Busch Light Beer with only one unopened can remaining,” the affidavit alleged.
    “Cody Keeth was operating the Toyota Camry northbound on US Highway 177. At some point, Cody Keeth crossed left of center into the southbound lane of US Highway 177. Keeth explained he does not remember the crash but recalled having difficulty staying awake during his drive home,” the affidavit alleged.
    “Mary Ann Leeper was operating the Ford Mustang southbound in the southbound lane of US Highway 177 and was approaching the Toyota. Mary Ann Leeper took evasive steering action to the right and applied the brakes of the Ford but was unable to avoid a collision with the Toyota,” which hit her car near the driver-side front bumper, the affidavit alleged.
    “The attending paramedics stated Keeth admitted to consuming alcoholic beverages that evening. Keeth was transported to OU Medical Center in Oklahoma City for treatment,” the affidavit alleged.
    “The Oklahoma Medical Examiner’s Office found the probable cause of death for Mary Ann Leeper to be multiple blunt force injuries because of the traffic collision,” caused by Keeth, the affidavit alleged.