Biggs to serve 5 years in DUI deaths of Bremen mother, daughter Tonya and Rhianna Busbee

Cullman County Sheriff’s Office
Jonathan Biggs (Cullman County Sheriff’s Office)

CULLMAN, Ala. – Jonathan Biggs, 56, of Dayton, Ohio, who was charged with two counts of reckless murder in the 2017 deaths of Tonya Busbee, 34, and her daughter Rhianna Busbee, 13, of Bremen, pleaded guilty to reduced charges of manslaughter June 26. Additional charges of driving under the Influence (DUI), DUI with blood alcohol concentration .08 or higher, reckless driving and failing to maintain lane were all dismissed.

Biggs could have received a life sentence if convicted on either of the Class A felony murder charges. Instead, for the Class B felony convictions he received 20-year sentences to be served concurrently in a state prison, with a further stipulation that he would serve five years in prison (with credit for 58 days already served) and five years’ supervised probation. The remaining 15 years of the prison sentence were suspended. Court documents noted that Biggs had no prior felonies.

Biggs was also ordered to pay $14,000 in victim restitution plus other legal fees after his release.

All the charges stemmed from a fatal wreck that occurred Tuesday, March 28, 2017 at approximately 8:24 p.m., near the 8000 block of County Road 813, near the entrance to Smith Lake Park.  The Busbees were traveling south in a 2003 Ford Ranger pickup truck when Biggs, driving northbound in a 2016 Chevrolet Impala, crossed the center line and struck them head on. Both victims were pronounced dead at the scene by Cullman County Coroner Jeremy L. Kilpatrick, while Biggs was airlifted to UAB Hospital in Birmingham.

The next day, on March 29, 2017, the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency said both alcohol and speed appeared to be factors in the crash. 

As of Monday afternoon, Biggs was still being held in the Cullman County Detention Center.

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W.C. Mann