Court Coverage

Mar 6, 2014 12:04 PM

Man Accused In 2012 Laurel County DUI Crash Pleads Guilty

A man accused of killing a Shelby County man in a DUI crash in 2012 entered a guilty plea in the case.

It was a tear filled day in a Laurel County court room Thursday as a plea agreement was reached for Austin Meredith, the man accused of hitting and killing Howard White of Shelby County in July of 2012.

White's family sat near as Austin Meredith pleaded guilty to DUI and second degree manslaughter.

Meredith was originally facing charges including murder, DUI, and wanton endangerment, but in a plea agreement he pleaded guilty to DUI and second degree manslaughter.

Reports say White was helping tow a family's car on Interstate 75 when the crash happened. He stopped to tighten the load when, investigators say, Austin Meredith crashed into the wrecker while White's two-year-old and 18-year-old son were in the truck.

Officials say Meredith was drunk when he crashed.

It has been almost two years since her father's death, but White's daughter says it will be a while for her to come to terms with her dad being gone.

"I'd say 'oh man I've missed you, I miss you a lot,' and I would so love to see his face right now," said Christina Barnett.

The Meredith family did not want to comment.

If convicted, Meredith could face 5 to 10 years in prison.

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