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Guilty plea entered in Beach death

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By Kristin Beck

A Carrollton man has pleaded guilty to lesser charges following the October death of Michael Beach, 27, of Carrollton.

James Nathan Wilhoite, 24, pleaded guilty in Carroll County Circuit Court Monday to an amended charge of second-degree manslaughter, a class C felony, from the original charge of murder. He also pleaded guilty to leaving the scene of an accident/failure to render aid, a class D felony; operating a motor vehicle under the influence, first offense within a five-year period; and second-degree possession of a controlled substance, a class A misdemeanor.

Sentencing has been scheduled for 8:30 a.m. on March 3.

The recommended sentence for second-degree manslaughter is 10 years in prison, a fine of $1,000 and the revocation of the driver’s license for five years, according to court documents. The recommended sentence for leaving the scene of an accident/failure to render aid is five years in prison, a fine of $1,000 and the revocation of the driver’s license for six months.

Kentucky State Police reported that Beach was walking along Hwy. 227 at about 9 p.m. Oct. 8, 2013, when Wilhoite’s vehicle crossed the white line and struck him, according to a News-Democrat article. Wilhoite left the scene and parked his truck in the nearby El Nopal parking lot, according to state police.

Beach was pronounced dead at Carroll County Memorial Hospital by Henry County Coroner James E. Pollard.

Kentucky State Police said Wilhoite returned to the scene and a Carroll County Sheriff’s deputy who was on scene administered a field sobriety test. He also had his blood drawn to determine his blood-alcohol content at the time of the accident, according to state police.