The Phillips & Associates Oklahoma Law Blog


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By Dustin Phillips on
August 16, 2010
December 31, 2019

A man who was twice arrested for Oklahoma DUI while awaiting trial for charges related to an earlier fatal DUI accident has been sentenced to 13 years in prison.

John Matthew Sing, 44, pleaded guilty to first degree manslaughter in the 2007 crash that killed his common law wife, Shelley Gail Burton, 43. Burton was a passenger in Sing's pickup when he ran a stop sign and hit a tree. After the accident, Sing was arrested and charged with DUI and first degree manslaughter.

He was released from jail after a judge reduced his bail. Less than a year later, while Sing was free on bail, he was again arrested for DUI in Oklahoma when a police officer noticed his jeep veering across the center line.

The officer pulled over the vehicle, and Sing admitted that he had drunk several beers before driving. The man was again arrested for DUI and again released on bail. His freedom didn't last long.

On May 1, 2009, John Matthew Sing was arrested yet again for DUI--six months after his second Oklahoma DUI arrest and approximately a year and a half after he caused the fatal accident that killed his wife. The arresting officer reported that, when Sing was arrested, he was so heavily intoxicated that he could not even walk without assistance.

In sentencing Sing after his first degree manslaughter conviction, an Oklahoma County judge considered the two subsequent DUI arrests. Judge Jerry D. Bass commiserated with the defendant and the victim's family, saying that cases like Sing's are "sad, sad cases all around because [they leave] everybody hurt." However, he noted that the two DUI arrests while Sing was out on bail showed no judgment on the part of the defendant.

Sing was sentenced to 13 years in prison for first degree manslaughter in the first DUI arrest. Each subsequent misdemeanor DUI conviction resulted in a one year sentence, with each sentence to be served concurrently.


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