An Odessa man will spend the next two decades in prison after pleading guilty Thursday to charges in a drunk-driving accident that killed two children.
James L. Green, 61, pleaded guilty to two counts of second-degree murder, two counts of assault and DWI charges.
The accident happened in September 2016 on I-70, just west of the Adams Dairy Parkway exit in Blue Springs.
Missouri Highway Patrol Troopers arrived at the scene and helped Green out of his vehicle, which was on its side. He had minor injuries.
The Highway Patrol’s investigation revealed Green overtook and hit the rear of a Hyundai before hitting another vehicle. He told troopers he had cruise control on and was looking down at this phone to change the music at the time of the crash.
Green also admitted to drinking before the crash and initially refused a blood test. Two blood draws were later taken.
Two children, 7-year-old Chloe Beaird and 13-year-old Gavin Beaird, were killed in the crash. The children’s father, who was driving, is currently paralyzed from the chest down, according to court documents. The children’s mother was also injured in the crash.
Green’s driver’s license was suspended, and he has had three prior convictions for DWI.
Green was sentenced to 25 years on each count of second-degree murder, seven years on each count of assault and 4 years on driving while suspended.
All sentences will run concurrently. Green must serve at least 85 percent of the sentence.