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W.Va. man pleads guilty to DUI causing death

July 27, 2009|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. -- A Berkeley County man indicted in the March 2008 death of a 27-year-old woman in an alcohol-related accident admitted in circuit court on Monday that he caused her death and injured three others in the vehicle he was driving.

Ricky Luther Corbin, 25, of Bunker Hill, W.Va., entered guilty pleas to one felony count of DUI causing death and three misdemeanor counts of DUI causing injury as part of a binding plea deal agreed upon the day before the case was scheduled to go to trial.

A sentencing hearing was scheduled for Aug. 24 by 23rd Judicial Circuit Judge Christopher C. Wilkes.

In addition to fines and restitution, Corbin will face four to 10 years behind bars, according to Berkeley County Prosecuting Attorney Pamela Jean Games-Neely.

The jail term for the third DUI with injury charge would be served at the same time as the term for the other charges, Games-Neely said.

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On March 9, 2008, Corbin wrecked a red Dodge Durango carrying four passengers in the 1500 block of Hatchery Road about 3:15 a.m., police have said.

Dawnelle Renee Hutzler of Inwood, W.Va., was found dead at the accident scene, police have said. The injured were identified in a police complaint as Erick W. Arthur, Kevin W. Vanmetre and Sarah Hutzler.

Corbin has been held at Eastern Regional Jail since Oct. 31, 2008, after being arrested on an unrelated battery charge. In addition to the four DUI-related charges, a grand jury last fall indicted him on one count of child neglect creating substantial risk of bodily injury.

The state's plea offer included the dismissal of the child neglect charge.

Last month, Corbin rejected the plea offer. He did not indicate in court on Monday why he decided to accept the state's offer, which Games-Neely said did not change.

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