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Hughesville man pleads guilty to vehicle homicide

By Staff | Jul 25, 2018

A Hughesville man who recently pleaded guilty to killing a local woman after hitting the rear end of her vehicle at a speed of over 100 mph last summer was sentenced to serve 3 1/2 to seven years in state prison.

Alec T. Barnes, 25, of 156 S. Third St., in Hughesville, pleaded guilty to charges of DUI, homicide by vehicle and driving under suspension in front of President Judge Nancy L. Butts at a hearing last month and stood before her again Monday to hear his sentence.

Barnes killed 49-year-old Patricia Shultz on June of last year at the 7200 block of Route 405 in Clinton Township as she was on her way from work in Muncy. Traveling at an estimated 114 mph on a stretch of the highway with a 55 mph speed limit, Barnes collided with the rear end of Shultz’s vehicle. Both vehicles went off the road and were found overturned in a nearby field. Shultz was pronounced dead at the scene.

During the time of the incident, Barnes denied that he was behind the wheel of the vehicle, stating that someone else had driven it.

According to Barnes’ plea agreement, a charge of homicide by vehicle while driving under the influence was dropped. According to District Attorney Kenneth Osokow, Barnes had a low enough blood alcohol level that, while it could be proven that he had driven under the influence, it couldn’t be proven that the DUI was the cause of death in the case.

“There were issues with the most serious charge as to whether or not he was under the influence during the accident,” Osokow said.

Despite charges being dropped that could have put Barnes away in state prison for a maximum of ten years, Osokow said he believes the family was satisfied with the results.

Barnes received credit for 158 days served while waiting for trial and was charged to pay $1,300 in fines for his driving under suspension and DUI charges.