MOAB, Utah (AP) -- A man accused of killing three members of a Moab family while driving drunk pleaded guilty Tuesday.
Rex Cross, 28, pleaded guilty to two second-degree felony counts of automobile homicide and one third-degree felony count of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. One additional second-degree felony count of automobile homicide and four misdemeanor counts related to the crash were dropped.
According to police, Cross' pickup crossed the center line of state Route 128 northeast of Moab and hit the vehicle Kathleen Parry was driving. Parry, 35, and her parents, James and Olive Parry, 72 and 67, were killed in the Oct. 3 crash. Kathleen's 6-year-old daughter, Emma, survived.
Cross initially pleaded innocent of the charges and several media outlets, including The Associated Press, fought to keep a preliminary hearing in the case open. Cross' defense attorney attempted to close the hearing, saying the publicity would jeopardize Cross' right to a fair trial.
Seventh District Judge Lyle Anderson ordered the hearing to be open.
Cross is scheduled to be sentenced on May 31. Each second-degree felony charge carries a sentence of up to 15 years in prison. The third-degree felony carries a sentence of up to five years.
(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)