Lamont Arthur Jr. Pleads Guilty to Aggravated Homicide Charge; Matthew Harker Died In Crash While Riding Bicycle
A man charged with driving under the influence and speeding in an intersection that killed a cyclist pleaded guilty to one count of aggravated homicide by vehicle in Natrona County District Court on Friday.
Investigators with the Casper Police Department say in late May, officers responded to the intersection of First and Beech Streets for a report of a collision, between a GMC Yukon SUV, driven by Lamont Arthur Junior, and bicyclist 39-year old Matthew Harker, who died at a Denver hospital, as a result his injuries.
Lamont Arthur Jr., who was 35 at the time of his arrest, quietly entered the plea before District Court Judge Thomas Sullins during the hearing this morning.
Under a plea agreement reached by District Attorney Mike Blonigen and public defender Kerri Johnson, a second charge of of aggravated assault and battery will be dismissed at his sentencing. The sentencing date has not been set.
Blonigen and Johnson also said the maximum prison sentence would by 16 years imprisonment. Restitution and court costs would be assessed by the time of sentencing, too.
Arthur had pleaded not guilty to the charges in August, and a week-long trial had been set for February.
None of Harker's family was present at the change of plea hearing.
After the hearing, the District Attorney Office's victim witness director Nancy John said several Harker family members may attend Arthur Jr.'s sentencing.
"They're doing as well as can be," Johnson said. "It's been tough."