Gragson sentenced to 8-20 years in prison in deadly DUI crash

Local News

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A prominent Las Vegas businessman charged in a deadly DUI crash is now behind bars. Scott Gragson was sentenced Friday to 8-20 years in prison for killing one person and injuring three others in May 2019.

Families of the loved ones affected by the crash gave heart wrenching victim impact statements Friday.

Gragson was actually not in the courtroom. Instead, he appeared virtually through a video call. But he did turn himself in later in the day to start serving his sentence. 

On may 30th, 2019, prominent Las Vegas businessman Scott Gragson killed a young mother and substantially injured three others in a crash while driving under the influence in the exclusive Summerlin community, “The Ridges.”

Forensic toxicology reports show Gragson’s blood alcohol level was more than two times the legal limit. Prosecutors say he had been drinking at a charity golf tournament that day.

Loved ones of Christopher Bentley — one of Gragson’s passengers — say he was so severely injured in the crash that it’s still hard for him to do even basic tasks.

They blame Gragson’s reckless actions.

“My stomach gets nauseous just thinking about it,” said Jodi Bentley — wife of one of the injured victims. “His temper, which caused my husband to eject from the vehicle over 50 feet, landing on his head and almost dying. 14 months later, Chris is still not healed and may never fully be.”

“Why should his life now be so miserable because of something somebody else did,” said Nicole Bentley — daughter of one of the injured victims.

Mother of three Melissa Newton, also a passenger, was killed in the crash. Her parents fought back tears in the courtroom.

“I once again carried my baby in my arms, only this time it was her remains, as I delivered them to her final resting place,” said Melissa’s father Alan Miller.

In an unusual move, Gragson did not see the families face-to-face.

He was allowed to call in virtually.

“There are no words that can accurately express the pain, remorse, helplessness, guilt,” Gragson said.

Gragson did not get the maximum sentence, but prosecutors say loved ones are still pleased.

“They’re comfortable that they had their day in court and they feel like they were heard, so they’re satisfied in that sense,” said Eric Bauman — Clark County Chief Deputy District Attorney.

The families hope their pain is never felt by anyone else.

“It’s personal, it’s profound, it’s permanent and it was totally preventable,” said Melissa’s mother Kelli Miller.

Gragson’s attorneys also presented over 100 letters from prominent people across Las Vegas — showing their support for Gragson — in the hopes of getting the minimum sentence. That did not happen.

Gragson was sentenced to 8-20 years in prison.

But there is still a pending civil case against Gragson. That’s the one involving Chris Bentley.

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