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10/8/2012 6:01:00 AM
Driver in deadly trip to cemetery pleads guilty in Kingman court
Charges reduced to negligent homicide for Peach Springs man
Roland Cook
Roland Cook
Erin Taylor
Miner Staff Reporter

A Peach Springs man pleaded guilty to reduced charges of negligent homicide in the death of a friend abandoned at a cemetery last year.

Roland Cook, 50, was originally facing second-degree murder charges after he was deemed the most responsible of an intoxicated group of four who left a 39-year-old woman behind at a cemetery in 100-degree weather in June 2011.

The woman, Darlene Sinyella, suffered from diabetes, walked with a cane and was legally blind. A survey crew found her body June 28 at the cemetery for Hualapai tribal members near Truxton.

Mohave Superior Court Judge Steven Conn has complete control over Cook's punishment and can sentence him to either prison or probation. Under the terms of the plea deal, Cook can receive no less than five years probation and no more than 8½ years in prison.

Cook was the driver of the caravan of friends and admitted to investigators that the group downed half a bottle of vodka on the way to the cemetery after a morning of various alcohol runs.

Alicia Hunter, 32, Angelina Wilder, 46, and Brainard Walema, 43, all of Peach Springs, were charged with abuse of a vulnerable adult in the case.

Walema and Wilder entered into plea agreements for a guaranteed five years probation.

Hunter was the passenger in a car involved in a head-on collision on Route 66 September 17. The driver of the car was believed to have been intoxicated at the time of the crash. Hunter suffered minor injuries. No one was killed in the crash.

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Related Stories:
• Driver who left woman to die in cemetery sentenced in Kingman
• Drink and I'm sending you to prison, Judge tells Peach Springs man
• Man accused of abuse OKs deal
• Four charged in wake of Peach Springs binge that led to woman's death

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Reader Comments

Posted: Monday, October 8, 2012
Article comment by: probation... really?

can't wait to see what judge conn sentences this guy to. he's been known to give maximum sentences for charges of much less magnitude than negligent homicide. someone died. probation should be off the table, period, but it all just depends on the judges' appears that the other defendants in this case are still out doing the same thing that got them into this. lesson learned?

Posted: Monday, October 8, 2012
Article comment by: gabe vega

finally. rest in peace darlene. you are missed very much. i love you. gabe :-(

Posted: Monday, October 8, 2012
Article comment by: capt. nice

it is a good thing that the mohave court system is handling this and not the reservation court system.
if it were the reservation court system these people would have been slapped on the wrist and right back out there drinking and driving.

Posted: Monday, October 8, 2012
Article comment by: kingman person

Based on Conn's sentencing record, this guy will get the lightest punishment allowed by law.

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