Errant driver in traffic accident that killed April Loper and her father Daniel Looper sentenced to a month in jail/five years probation.
The driver whose large pickup crossed over the center line and hit and killed April Loper and her father Daniel Loper on Highway 20 east of Eddyville, has been sentenced in Circuit Court in Newport. Wallace Beaver, who was also injured in the head-on crash in October of last year, was sentenced to a month in the county jail and to be on probation for five years. In general, if Beaver violates his probation he could face more jail time and/or fines.
The high profile case which involved the deaths of April Loper and her father Daniel, set the stage for a very challenging prosecution of an unrelated party – Thomas Acosta, accused of sexually abusing April earlier in the year. Because she obviously could not testify against Acosta, and thereby Acosta not being able to confront his accuser, Acosta’s public defender moved to dismiss the charges. But after hearing further arguments from the prosecution that despite a lack of direct confrontation with his accuser, the judge agreed to set a trial date. District Attorney Rob Bovett hired a specialty prosecutor who, through using medical records of April’s wounds and consistent stories from those who closely knew her, helped to convince a jury to convict Acosta on some of the charges. Acosta was sent to prison for eight years.