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Sentencing delayed in Martinsburg choking death case

August 12, 2008|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - The sentencing of a man arrested in the death of Douglas S. Funk II in July 2007 was delayed again Monday to allow the state more time to process a request for restitution by the victim's family.

Christopher M. Speikers, 23, agreed in February 2008 to enter a plea to a misdemeanor count of involuntary manslaughter in the death of Funk, 23, of 244 Dinner Belle Court.

Restitution was not made part of the plea agreement and Berkeley County Prosecuting Attorney Pamela Jean Games-Neely said Monday that a request filed with the West Virginia Court of Claims' victims compensation program usually takes six to eight months.

The victim's family asked for a little more than $22,000 for medical and funeral expenses in May, officials had said.

Under terms of the plea agreement, Speikers would be sentenced to four months in jail, but that term would be suspended in place of up to five years of probation determined by 23rd Judicial Circuit Judge Christopher C. Wilkes, according to court records.

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Police have said Speikers struck Funk in the nose and choked him into an unconscious state on July 12, 2007, after intervening in a fight between the victim and his younger brother, who is Speikers' friend.

Funk never regained consciousness after he was taken to City Hospital in Martinsburg and he died a little more than 24 hours later on July 13, police said.

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