MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - A former taxi company owner, who was charged with involuntary manslaughter after a man with whom he fought last year died, pleaded no contest Tuesday to the misdemeanor charge.
James C. Owens, 43, of Martinsburg, was sentenced to serve one year in jail, the maximum sentence possible.
Owens agreed to plead no contest to the charge if prosecutors agreed not to make a sentencing recommendation, said Assistant Prosecutor Betsy Giggenbach, who handled the case.
Magistrate Joan Bragg handed down the sentence after a woman close to the victim spoke, requesting the maximum sentence.
Owens read a letter in which he expressed remorse.
Owens was arraigned on the charge on Dec. 31, 2002, more than a month after he fought with Ernest Stevens, who was described in court records as "elderly."