The man accused of driving under the influence in the November 2012 crash near the Highlands that killed one woman and critically injured another, has entered a guilty plea to the charge.
29-year-old John Hatfield of Fayetteville, Arkansas, entered the plea early Friday afternoon before Judge David Sims in Ohio County Circuit Court. Officials say John Hatfield admitted at the scene that he had been drinking at Jill's Gentleman's Club. He ran into a car on McCutcheon Road near the Highlands.
The prosecution said first, Hatfield claimed he'd had 5 beers, then he changed his story and said he'd had nine. They say evidence has shown that he was driving more than twice the speed limit and had nearly three times the legal limit of alcohol in his blood.
"The posted speed limit where this accident occurred was 35 miles an hour and according to the electronic box that was in his vehicle, he was traveling between 86 and 89 miles an hour. In addition to that, he had a blood-alcohol level of .232 as evidenced by the toxometer from the Ohio County Sheriff's Department within an hour or so after the accident occurred, " said Ohio County Assistant Prosecutor Brian Ghaphery.
As a result, Stephanie Stahl lived for several hours on a ventilator, but died later that day. Nicole Gray was in critical condition, but recovered.
Hatfield could get two to ten years, with credit for the time he served in home confinement.
His sentencing has not yet been set.