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Grants Pass man arraigned on charges related to fatal DUII crash

A Grants Pass man faces manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide charges claiming he drunkenly crashed a Honda Civic last year into a tree near Gold Hill, killing his 26-year-old female passenger.

Johnathon Robert Lee Perkins, 28, was arraigned today in Jackson County Circuit Court on charges of second-degree manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide and driving under the influence of intoxicants, Oregon Judicial Department records show. 

A Jackson County grand jury indicted Perkins on July 29. 

On Sept. 19, 2013, Brittany Jo Nieman, 26, was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash in the 3000 block of Sardine Creek Road.

The Jackson County Sheriff's Department reported Perkins was attempting to negotiate a 25 mph corner at a high rate of speed after 10:30 p.m. Police said he lost control the Honda Civic, which left the road and slammed into a tree. Responding emergency personnel extricated Perkins from the vehicle. He was taken to Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center with life-threatening injuries.

Perkins was processed today at the Jackson County Jail after posting $50,000 bail following his arraignment, a jail clerk said. 

Court records in Jackson and Josephine counties show Perkins has no criminal record. 

Reach reporter Sam Wheeler at 541-776-4471 or swheeler@mailtribune.com. Follow him at www.twitter.com/swhlr.

Johnathon Robert Lee Perkins