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Corbin rejects plea offer in fatal crash

June 23, 2009|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. -- A Bunker Hill, W.Va., man indicted last fall in the March 2008 death of a 27-year-old woman in an alcohol-related accident is scheduled to be tried next month in circuit court after rejecting a plea offer from the Berkeley County Prosecuting Attorney's office.

In a brief pretrial hearing Monday, Ricky Luther Corbin, 25, indicated he was told of the plea offer by his attorney, but that wanted to go to trial, which is scheduled to begin July 28.

Police said Corbin on March 9, 2008, wrecked a red Dodge Durango carrying four passengers in the 1500 block of Hatchery Road.

One of the passengers, Dawnelle Renee Hutzler of Inwood, W.Va., was found dead at the accident scene. A 17-year-old male also was in the vehicle.

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Corbin, who has been held at Eastern Regional Jail since Oct. 31, 2008, after being arrested on an unrelated battery charge, was indicted earlier that month on one felony count of driving under the influence causing death, three misdemeanor counts of DUI causing injury and one count of child neglect creating substantial risk of bodily injury.

Prosecuting Attorney Pamela Jean Games-Neely told 23rd Judicial Circuit Judge Christopher C. Wilkes on Monday that the state's plea offer included the dismissal of the child neglect charge and allowed the jail sentences for two of the DUI with injury counts to be served concurrently with the third count.

Corbin would have had to plead guilty to the felony and three misdemeanor counts of the indictment and serve the two- to 10-year sentence that comes with the felony consecutive to two, one-year jail terms for DUI with injury charges for a total of four to 10 years behind bars, Games-Neely said.

Corbin also would have had to pay fines determined by the court and full restitution and court costs, Games-Neely said.

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