Prosecutors will request that a Lawrence man spend 14 days in jail in exchange for his guilty pleas to four charges stemming from a fatal hit-and-run.
Jake Deckert, 22, admitted Tuesday morning in Douglas County District Court to driving under the influence, leaving the scene of an accident, failing to report an accident and violating a stop sign.
The charges are connected with a May 4 crash at West Sixth Street and Gateway Drive, just west of Lawrence Avenue, which killed Thomas Crum, 60. The men's vehicles collided, and Crum's car struck the side of a building, at 534 Gateway Drive.
During Tuesday's plea hearing, District Attorney Charles Branson said in exchange for Deckert's pleas he would recommend a two-year jail sentence, though Deckert would be placed on supervised probation after serving 14 days in jail during Kansas University's winter break. He would also serve an additional two years on supervised probation. Deckert is listed as a student at KU.
Deckert could ultimately be sentenced to as much as three years in jail, Judge Robert Fairchild said. Sentencing is scheduled for 11 a.m. Oct. 31.
The DUI charge was added as part of the plea deal and marks Deckert's second DUI offense, Branson said. Deckert was also charged with DUI in 2006, court records said. Two of the felony charges were also reduced to misdemeanors as part of the deal.
"I am pleased with this outcome," Branson said in a news release. "Mr. Deckert will receive a lengthier sentence in this case than he would have under the original charges. In addition, we are able to hold him accountable for the DUI he sought to avoid."
Had Deckert been convicted of the initial charges, he likely would have received probation, Branson said.
Terry Campbell, Deckert's attorney, offered brief condolences to Crum's family during the hearing. He also said Crum's blood alcohol content was .158, an amount nearly twice the legal driving limit of .08, when he was pronounced dead at Kansas University Hospital in Kansas City, Kan. Crum's family said they had been celebrating his birthday with him before the accident.
Campbell also said Deckert had been drinking before the accident, though his blood alcohol content wasn't available. Deckert admitted leaving the scene of the accident, and police found him the next day. He has undergone alcohol abuse treatment.