Man pleads guilty in fatal January wreck
By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor
A 21-year-old Alabaster man will spend the next few months in the Shelby County Jail after he pleaded guilty to misdemeanor counts of criminally negligent homicide and third-degree assault in connection with a fatal January 2013 wreck.
According to court documents, Drew Alexander Graham entered guilty pleas to the two charges on Nov. 5. Through a plea agreement, he was sentenced to 12 months in the Shelby County Jail for each charge, but each sentence will run concurrently.
He received credit for 280 days of jail time in both cases, meaning Graham had about 85 days of jail time remaining at the time of his sentencing.
Graham was arrested on charges of felony manslaughter and first degree assault and was booked into the Shelby County Jail on Jan. 30.
Graham was involved in a Jan. 16 wreck on Shelby County 26, which happened at about 11:20 a.m. just south of the Saginaw Volunteer Fire Department, according to the Birmingham Highway Patrol office.
His original charges were reduced to the two misdemeanor charges through the plea agreement.
According to the Highway Patrol wreck report, Graham’s 1996 Ford Explorer collided with a 2004 Ford Escape driven by 39-year-old Columbiana resident Karen Lewis. Lewis was killed in the wreck and her passenger, a juvenile, was transported to UAB Hospital for treatment.
According to a complaint filed with his arrest warrant, Graham caused the wreck when he drove his vehicle into the wrong lane and collided head-on with Lewis’ vehicle.
Shelby County Circuit Court Judge Dan Reeves ordered Graham to pay restitution of $10,000 to Lewis’ family, and ordered him to complete substance abuse treatment assessment and a substance abuse treatment program.
After Graham has completed his current sentence, he will remain on probation for five years. Graham was placed on five years of supervised probation after he pleaded guilty to one count of second-degree assault a few days before the fatal Alabaster wreck.
According to court documents, the second-degree assault charge came after Graham caused “serious physical injury to another person … by shoving the victim to the pavement, causing the victim to have a broken hip” on June 25, 2009.
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