31-year-old Brandon Smith, formally of Chico, pleaded guilty Thursday to charges of vehicular manslaughter in the operation of a vessel while intoxicated and and Operation of a vessel while under the influence causing great bodily injury.
The crash happened in 2018 when the speed boat Smith was said to be operating collided with the shoreline of the North Fork of Lake Oroville. According to the Butte County District Attorney's Office, 27-year-old Walter Gerken was ejected from the boat - killing him. A woman was also ejected from the boat and sustained major injuries to her leg. Park Rangers determined that Smith was intoxicated.
His sentencing is set for April 2, 2020 where he faces 7 years in state prison.