Yates imposes prison in Homicide by vehicle case

Dakota Bogert (Photo submitted)

Two families filled the Keokuk County courtroom on Tuesday, Oct. 4 for the sentencing hearing of Dakota Bogert. Bogert entered a plea on July 8, 2016 to Felony Charges of Count II Homicide by Vehicle, Iowa code 707.6A(2) and Felony Charges Count III Serious Injury by Vehicle, Iowa code 707.6A(4).

            On the night of March 7, 2015 Bethanne Cooksey was coming home from a church event on Highway 78, when a vehicle driven by Dakota Bogert struck her. Bogert and her passenger, Keegan Barker, were traveling North on 270th Avenue, when Bogert ran a stop sign and collided with Cooksey. Both vehicles came to a rest in a field on the northwest corner of the intersection.

When law enforcement arrived, Bogert was found in the passenger side of the vehicle and told officials that she was not the driver of the vehicle. Neither Bogert nor Barker was wearing their seatbelts and both received injuries. They were both transported to University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. Barker was initially pronounced dead, but was later revived and remained in a coma for three days. Cooksey was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident.

            Initially Bogert was not believed to be the driver of the vehicle so no field sobriety tests were given to her, but instead were given to Barker. Later, DNA samples revealed that Keegan Barker’s DNA was solely in the passenger side of the vehicle, concluding that Bogert was in fact the driver and not the passenger at the time of the incident. 

            At plea agreement hearing on July 8, 2016, Bogert admitted that she was in fact the driver of the vehicle and that she had been under the influence of alcohol at the time of the accident. However, because no field sobriety tests were given the night of the accident, there is no determination as to how much alcohol she had consumed.

            Judge Yates sentenced Bogert to a 10-year sentence with the Iowa Department of Corrections for the Count II charge and five years for Count III charge. Bogert was transported from Keokuk County courthouse to the Keokuk County Sheriff’s Office immediately following the sentencing hearing. On Wednesday, October 5, Bogert was transported to the Iowa Correctional Institution for Women in Mitchellville where her sentences will run concurrently.