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Michael Crabtree Convicted of Manslaughter

Michael S. Crabtree was convicted of Manslaughter 2nd degree and Wanton Endangerment in the McCreary Circuit Court on Monday as a result of a May 2017 accident which took the life of 55-year-old Stearns resident, Jimmy D. Daugherty.  

By Eugenia Jones

The conviction, led by Commonwealth’s Attorney Ronnie Bowling and Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Jane Davis stems from a Kentucky State Police investigation of a car crash in which Crabtree was determined to be under the influence.   Toxicology, reconstruction, and black box car data experts were all utilized to prove Crabtree’s guilt.

According to Kentucky State Police reports at the time of the accident, non-McCreary County resident Crabtree was traveling northbound on US 27 in a 2008 Chevrolet Cobalt when he crossed the center line and struck Daugherty, who was riding a Honda motorcycle, head-on.  The cycle went on to strike a third vehicle driven by a man from London, KY.

Daugherty, who was wearing a helmet, was pronounced dead at the scene.

According to Commonwealth’s Attorney Ronnie Bowling, Crabtree was originally charged with murder; however, the case resolved as Manslaughter 2nd degree and wanton endangerment because of the difficulty of proving murder with a non-intentional act like driving under the influence.  According to Bowling, the prosecution agreed to the amendment only if Crabtree pleaded to the maximum sentence under Kentucky law.  Crabtree pleaded to the maximum on both counts for a total effective sentence of fifteen years.

Crabtree is scheduled to be sentenced on September 30th before the Honorable Judge Dan Ballou.

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