OREGON COUNTY -- A Hardy, Ark., man was transported by deputies from the Oregon County Sheriff's Department to state prison in Bonne Terre to serve a four-year prison sentence last week.
Kenneth R. Seagraves, 21, was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in Oregon County Circuit Court by Associate Circuit Judge Jo Beth Prewitt after a plea hearing Sept. 22. Judge Prewitt sentenced Seagraves the same day.
On April 22, Seagraves, driving a 1993 Mercury Cougar, struck and killed a Cherokee Village, Ark., man, Nathan Rhoads, 28.
Rhoads was sitting on E Highway south of Alton when he was struck and killed by the car Seagraves was driving.
A passenger in the Seagraves vehicle, Sabrina Lopez, 18, of Hardy signed a statement shortly after the incident in Oregon County Prosecuting Attorney Fred O'Neill's office saying she was the driver of the car at the time of the accident although she was never charged.
Trooper D.D. Finley returned to the accident scene after Lopez signed the statement and two unidentified witnesses told him they did not think Lopez was driving the car at the time of the accident.
The witnesses said they saw Seagraves driving the car three of four minutes before the accident occurred, Finley said. They said he was driving recklessly, spinning tires in the gravel of the driveway and showing off.
They also said Seagraves had driven through the accident scene approximately 30 seconds before the accident happened, heading north, almost striking Rhoads. They said Seagraves then turned around in a driveway and headed south on E Highway accelerating rapidly. He then locked up the brakes on the car and skidded into Rhoads before running off the road.
Rhoads was transported to Ozarks Medical Center in West Plains where he was pronounced dead.
On April 25, three days after the incident, Finley conducted interviews with Seagraves, Lopez and Dustin Rosenbaum, who had traveled from Arkansas to Oregon County with the pair.
Oregon County Prosecuting Attorney Fred O'Neill said during the hearing that persons interviewed a few days after the accident told the trooper Seagraves was driving at the time of the crash and Lopez was taking responsibility for it because Seagraves did not have a drivers's license. During the interview Lopez recanted her statement and said Seagraves was driving the car at the time of the accident.
Randel L. Ledbetter was also transported to state prison last week after he entered a guilty plea of felony assault in Oregon County Associate Circuit Court June 21.
Judge Don Henry sentenced Ledbetter of Peace Valley to five years in prison Sept. 22.
Ledbetter, 20, was convicted of causing serious physical injury to his son, 5-week-old Gadge E. Ledbetter, by hitting him with his hand three times in the head Feb. 25.
On Feb. 28 the baby was admitted to a St. Louis hospital where he was diagnosed with multiple skull fractures because of the injuries.