Local & Regional
7:48 am
Thu August 21, 2014

Man Pleads Guilty in Grand Lake Boating Deaths of 2 Students

John DeSelms
John DeSelms
Credit Booking Photo-Delaware County

JAY, Okla. (AP) — A Tulsa man has pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree manslaughter in a boating crash that killed two University of Arkansas students in northeast Oklahoma.

John DeSelms entered the plea Wednesday in Delaware County. He was accused in the May 2013 deaths of Rachel Nichole Swetnam of Grove and William "Trey" Varner III of Texarkana, Arkansas. Prosecutors alleged DeSelms was operating under the influence of alcohol when he crashed a boat into a houseboat parked on Oklahoma's Grand Lake.

In court Wednesday, DeSelms said he took full responsibility for the incident.

Swetnam, Varner and DeSelms were all students at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville.

DeSelms entered a blind plea in the case, meaning he did not have a plea agreement with prosecutors. He's set for sentencing in December.