Home Law and Courts Hobbsan enters plea in 2018 fatal accident

Hobbsan enters plea in 2018 fatal accident

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Gabrielle Arsiaga/News-Sun

The four-year saga of a car accident which lead to the death of a Hobbs man in 2018 reached a conclusion in June with a guilty plea by Justin Null.

Null, 41, of Hobbs, was arrested in November 2018 and charged with involuntary manslaughter, a fourth-degree felony; careless driving, and two counts of traffic control signal legend/failure to obey, all misdemeanors.

Four years after Null was charged, on June 13, he pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter and careless driving and was sentenced to 18 months and 90 days on supervised probation. The remaining counts Null was charged with were dismissed.

In 2018, Adam Johnston was five minutes away from his house and on his way home from work when Null ran a red light and plowed into Johnston’s vehicle at the intersection of North Dal Paso and Broadway street on Nov. 16.

Johnston, 65, was airlifted to Covenant Hospital in Lubbock after first responders cut him out of his vehicle. He spent three weeks in intensive care before he died Dec. 5 of a ruptured aorta from the force of the crash.

The family of the accused told the News-Sun in 2019 they believed the accident was due to a seizure.

Null’s sister-in-law, Ashley Null, said that Null was diagnosed with epilepsy several years ago and had a seizure at the time of the accident.

Null sees a Nor-Lea Hospital neurologist, according to Ashley Null.

According to a criminal complaint, an officer reviewed video surveillance of the Nov. 16 crash that killed Johnston. It was reported by police that Null was driving at “an extremely high speed and never attempted to stop his vehicle.”

Investigators reportedly found no skid marks or other signs of a vehicle braking during a Nov. 30, 2018, reconstruction of the accident scene.

Before Null ran the red light that caused the accident, he ran a red light at North Dal Paso and Turner streets, according to the criminal complaint.

When an officer talked to Null’s wife, she told police the two were in the process of a divorce and he was upset when he left his location before the accident. An officer who had prior contact with Null said Null threatened suicide on a prior occa sion.

Null may have run the red light at a high rate of speed in an attempt to harm himself, according to police reports. Howev er, the family of Null dis puted this claim, alleging the crash investigation was “biased.”

“They’re (police) bring ing up something that happened a year ago and they’re using that to paint a horrible picture of my brother-in-law,” Ashley Null said in a prior interview.

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