Woman to plead guilty in deadly 2016 crash

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MOREHEAD, Ky. (WTVQ)- According to The Morehead News, the case of an Owingsville woman killed in a motor vehicle crash in 2016 appears to be nearing a close.

The newspaper says that according to new court documents, 33-year-old Sabra McCarty, of West Liberty, has agreed to plead guilty to first-degree manslaughter in the crash that killed Morehead State alumnus, 23-year-old Sarah Caudill.

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According to Morehead police, McCarty was operating a Dodge Durango on Sunday, May 1, 2016, traveling eastbound on KY 32 with one passenger. Caudill was operating a 2006 Pontiac Torrent traveling westbound.

MPD said the Durango crossed the median of KY 32, striking Caudill’s vehicle head on.

The newspaper says Caudill was pronounced dead at the scene by the Rowan County coroner.

According to the newspaper, during the preliminary hearing, MPD collision re-constructionist Mark Hammonds said that toxicology reports they subpoenaed reported that McCarty had a blood alcohol content of 0.21 percent.

The legal limit in Kentucky is 0.08.

Hammonds also detailed the statements of three witnesses to the events of that night.

The first was a motorist driving behind McCarty. According to Hammonds, the witness stated that McCarty’s vehicle veered right a few feet before making a dead left into the oncoming lane.

The witness stated they didn’t see any animal or anything in the road that would require that action. Water was on the roadway but he stated he had no issues.

The second witness statement Hammonds spoke about was the driver behind Caudill. They stated there was a “medium” rain and they were using Caudill’s headlights for directional help. They said her vehicle was not weaving and at no point exited the lane or made any sudden movements.

The third witness was a roommate of McCarty and Donnie Barker at the Gateway Homeless Shelter.

According to Hammonds, the witness stated that McCarty was the designated driver for the group of three for a night out at Frankie’s Plaza.

Video shows them leaving the shelter around 8 p.m. The witness said McCarty had two mixed drinks and multiple beers before becoming confrontational.

When the three attempted to return home, McCarty took the keys to the vehicle from Barker and jumped into the driver’s seat. The witness said she attempted to get the keys but couldn’t retrieve them.

The witness decided it would be safer to walk back to the shelter than ride with the inebriated driver. As she was walking on KY 32 she noticed the wreck and believed it was the vehicle McCarty was driving due to a front vanity plate.

There were no traces of alcohol or illicit substance in Caudill’s toxicology report.

McCarty was originally charged with murder in the crash and pleaded not guilty.

She also pleaded not guilty to first-degree wanton endangerment, DUI, and operating without a valid license.

An agreement with the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office has offered her a manslaughter charge in exchange for pleading guilty to the amended murder charge and the three others.

First-degree manslaughter is a Class B felony subject to 10 to 20 years in prison.

First-degree wanton endangerment is a Class D felony subject to one to five years in prison.

The other two charges are misdemeanors.

Sentencing is scheduled in Rowan Circuit Court on Thursday, March 21, at 1:30 p.m. with Judge Bill Lane presiding.

A civil suit also is pending in the case.

Information and image attributed to The Morehead News