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A 53-year-old Goodview resident pleaded no contest Friday to the charge of involuntary manslaughter, in connection with an accident last December.
James Scott Morrow entered his plea in circuit court in connection with the Dec. 2, 2010, accident on Goodview Road in which Morrow’s Dodge Challenger collided with a second vehicle, a 2001 Dodge Ram pickup driven by Ty Alexander Perdue of Goodview. Mack Collins Jr., a passenger in Morrow’s car, was killed in the crash, leading to the charge.
According to Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney Wes Nance, the tires of Morrow’s vehicle went off the opposite side of the road from his lane and when he attempted to correct and get back in his lane, he struck the other vehicle. Nance said several citizens who observed the accident stopped to help those injured in the crash.
Nance said those observing Morrow said he appeared to be intoxicated and tried to speak to his friend, saying, “Mack, Mack, get up, we’ve got to go.”
Nance added that Morrow was unable to perform several field sobriety tests satisfactorily and that he admitted to a State Police trooper that he had two or three shots of vodka. Nance said while his blood alcohol level was under the legal limit, Morrow had apparently mixed the alcohol use with the use of the prescription drug librium which he was taking.
Nance said Morrow claimed his dog had jumped on his lap, causing him to cross over into the other lane of traffic.
Morrow’s attorney, Carter Garrett, said his client, after observing an in-car video taken from the state trooper’s vehicle of the field sobriety tests, decided to enter the no contest plea and accept responsibility for his friend’s death.
Morrow could face up to 10 years in prison on the conviction, though sentencing guidelines will probably be set at a maximum of about three years. A sentencing date has been set for Feb. 17 at 1:30 p.m. Nance said he expects both sides to introduce evidence at that hearing.