A Sherman man, who was indicted earlier this year on charges that he provided alcohol to an underage girl who died, had his charges dropped this week after he died earlier this summer.
William Duane Wheeler, 53, was indicted in April on one count of criminally negligent homicide in the death of Kayla Sue Youngs. The indictment is a formal charge and not an indication of guilt.
The criminally negligent homicide charge against Wheeler was dismissed in the 397th court on Monday. Wheeler’s obituary states he died on July 24 at Texoma Medical Center.
Police were called to a residence in the 2200 block of Kevin Court back on June 11, 2017 where hey found Youngs dead. An affidavit prepared in the case said there were no obvious signs of injury to Young’s body, but she had a white foam on her upper lip. The document said the white foam is “often associated with deaths resulting from excessive alcohol or substance abuse.”
Police reportedly found bottles of alcohol in Wheeler’s bedroom closet, and an empty bottle in the kitchen trash can. In the initial interview with Wheeler, he told police that he did not purchase the alcohol for the teenagers present, did not drink with them and did not observe them drinking. The affidavit states that Wheeler told police he checked on Youngs at about 4 a.m. and could not determine if she had a pulse. Wheeler could not wake her, and the document states he “chose not to contact emergency services and instead went back to bed.”
He later told police he did buy the alcohol and watched the teens become intoxicated.
Wheeler was represented in the case by Sherman attorney Joe Smith, who did not return a phone call seeking comment about the case.