Jacob Burroughs, Negligent Homicide

Jacob Burroughs, 18, tears up as he enters a statement of guilt to support a change of plea before Gallatin Valley District Court Judge John Brown on Friday, in the Law and Justice Center.

A Bozeman teen admitted to driving more than 100 mph and crashing his car, killing his 17-year-old passenger.

During a hearing Friday morning, 19-year-old Jacob Burroughs pleaded guilty to negligent homicide in the September 2016 death of Joseph “JoJo” Carnefix in a crash under the East Main Street interchange.

At the questioning of his defense attorney Nick Miller, Burroughs, dressed in a blue jail jumpsuit and handcuffed, admitted to driving his car over 100 mph and crashing on the night of Sept. 1, 2016.

“Your friend who was a passenger in the crash did die?” Miller asked.

“Yes,” Burroughs said, hanging his head.

The plea was part of an agreement Burroughs struck with the Gallatin County Attorney’s Office. In addition to pleading to negligent homicide, Burroughs admitted to felony counts of burglary and theft in unrelated cases.

Burroughs is slated to be sentenced by District Court Judge John Brown on March 14.

The sentence being jointly recommended by Miller and Gallatin County Chief Deputy Attorney Eric Kitzmiller, who is prosecuting the case, calls for a six-year deferred sentence. It will also be recommended that Burroughs pay restitution in all three cases, and that he have chemical dependency and mental health treatment.

The agreement is non-binding, however, meaning Brown can sentence Burroughs to something different than what is recommended.

Burroughs remains in the Gallatin County jail on $260,000 bail.

Just days after his 18th birthday, Burroughs was arrested for negligent homicide after police investigated after it was reported that a car had flipped under the Interstate 90 overpass at the East Main Street exit.

Carnefix was found dead in the back seat of the Toyota Camry. At the scene, Burroughs said he had been driving 110, maybe 120 mph down Frontage Road and then lost control.

Prior to the crash, Burroughs was charged in youth court with felony theft for stealing a shotgun out of an unlocked vehicle. And the felony burglary charge, which was bumped down to youth court as part of the plea agreement, came after Burroughs and some friends broke into a Main Street medical marijuana dispensary.

Whitney Bermes can be reached at wbermes@dailychronicle.com or 582-2648. Follow her on Twitter at @wabermes.

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