Intoxicated driver who injured Bethanie Jones pleads guilty

Intoxicated driver who injured Bethanie Jones pleads guilty
William McKinnley Horner (Photo source: Biloxi Police Department)
William McKinnley Horner (Photo source: Biloxi Police Department)

HARRISON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Two years ago, Bethanie Jones was involved in a crash on the Popp's Ferry Bridge that would change her life. Monday, the driver that hit her pleaded guilty to DUI causing death or disfigurement.

Jones was heading home from work at Stein Mart in Biloxi when William McKinnley Horner, 30, slammed into her vehicle on the bridge. That was June 30, 2015.

Jones remained hospitalized in Mobile, AL for weeks after the crash. Doctors had to operate on her brain after she suffered a massive stroke. She also had to have surgery on her leg and ankle. Jones' mother, father, and brother were present for today's plea, saying they feel like justice is finally being served.

"We've been waiting for justice for over two years. We've been patient. We've been supporting my sister Bethanie through this whole trying time. So we're just glad it's finally come to a resolve," said Rodderick Jones who is Bethanie's brother.

Friends, coworkers, former D'Iberville High School classmates, and even strangers rallied around Jones in the months following the collision. Several fundraisers were held to help with medical bills.

During the plea hearing Monday, Horner told the judge he had not used drugs recently. A drug test ordered by the judge came back positive for traces of marijuana.  Horner was immediately taken into custody.

Horner will learn his fate Thursday. Jones' family members are expected to speak during the hearing.

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