Man sentenced in fatal I-65 wreck

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

COLUMBIANA – A 30-year-old Calera man who originally was charged with reckless murder and drunken driving in connection with a fatal 2016 crash on Interstate 65 in Alabaster will spend time in prison after he pleaded guilty to a lesser charge on July 17.


Daniel Joseph Robinson, who lists an address on Daventry Trail in Calera, pleaded guilty to one count of criminally negligent homicide in front of Shelby County Circuit Court Judge William Bostick during the July 17 hearing.

Robinson originally was charged with reckless murder, a Class A felony punishable by up to life in prison, but pleaded guilty to the lesser Class C felony through a plea agreement with prosecutors.

As a result of his guilty plea, Robinson was sentenced to one year in the Alabama Penitentiary, where he must complete a substance abuse treatment program, followed by two years of supervised probation.

A Shelby County grand jury during its August 2017 term returned a two-count indictment against Robinson, upholding the reckless murder and drunken driving charges against him.

Robinson’s charges stemmed from an Aug. 4, 2016, crash, which happened at about 11:50 p.m. on Interstate 65 about one mile south of Alabaster. The driver of a 2011 Mitsubishi Lancer was parked on the shoulder of I-65 when a 2008 Nissan Altima driven by Robinson struck the Mitsubishi.

The Lancer was then struck again by a 2006 Hyundai Sonata, and the Lancer caught fire. The driver of the Mitsubishi, who was identified as 43-year-old Clanton resident Robert Alan Gentry, was pronounced dead on the scene, according to State Troopers.

Robinson was not injured in the crash, and the driver of the Sonata was taken to a local hospital to be treated for injuries.

According to court documents, Robinson allegedly had a blood-alcohol content of 0.06 percent at the time of his arrest.

The indictments against Robinson said he allegedly did “recklessly engage in conduct which manifested extreme indifference to human life and created a grave risk of death to a person other (than himself)” when he allegedly drove a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol.

Robinson was released from the Shelby County Jail the same day he was arrested after posting a $75,000 bond.