Arlington man gets 10 years for fatal wreck in probation revocation deal

FORT WORTH -- A 25-year-old Arlington man who was placed on probation 22 months ago for a 2007 crash in which one teen was killed and another seriously injured acknowledged Thursday that he violated his probation in March when he was arrested for possessing methamphetamine.

As his probation revocation hearing was set to begin Thursday, Adam Michael Parks agreed with prosecutors to accept a 10-year prison term on the intoxication manslaughter conviction and five years on the intoxication assault case if prosecutors did not ask state District Judge Scott Wisch to stack the two sentences.

As part of the plea, Parks also agreed to serve 180 days in state jail on the drug charge.

Formal sentencing was delayed until next week so that Parks' mother could attend.

Parks was convicted of killing 17-year-old Nicholas Cullens and injuring 17-year-old Sara Coots on April 14, 2007.

Authorities said Parks had a blood-alcohol level of 0.15, nearly twice the legal limit, and was driving at least 60 mph when his Ford Mustang and an Oldsmobile Alero, in which Cullens and Coots were passengers, collided in the intersection of Sublett Road and South Cooper Street.

A Tarrant County jury that took seven hours to convict Parks deliberated just over an hour before recommending the probationary sentence. Wisch ordered Parks to serve 180 days in jail as a condition of probation and sternly warned him that he would go to prison if he violated his probation.

During a victim-impact statement, Cullens' father, Philip Cullens, said he hoped Parks would start taking drugs and have his probation revoked so he would be sent to prison. "You'll rue the day you killed my son," he said.

In March, prosecutors asked Wisch to revoke Parks' probation after he was arrested for possession of methamphetamine. Defense attorney Daniel Barnes said he had planned to question whether police legally searched Parks and whether they could link the drugs to him.

At the last minute, however, Parks agreed to the plea, saying he didn't want to put everyone through another hearing. That pleased Cullens' mother, Tiffani Covais.

"I feel like my son can rest in peace and I can rest in peace knowing that [Parks] got what he deserved," Covais said.

MARTHA DELLER, 817-390-7857