Last Modified: Saturday, May 12, 2012 3:09 PM
JENNINGS — A Jennings man accused of running over his stepfather and killing him after a family disturbance has pleaded guilty to negligent homicide.
Sterlyn Vital, 28, entered the guilty plea and was sentenced Thursday in the 31st Judicial District Court.
Vital received the maximum sentence of five years in prison as part of a plea agreement. The sentence is to run consecutive to a three year sentence on a prior arson charge, for a total of eight years in prison, District Attorney Michael Cassidy said.
Vital was initially indicted last October on second-degree murder in the death of his stepfather, Gary Hawkins, 61, of Jennings.
Vital is accused of running over Hawkins with a vehicle in the front yard of the family’s North Shirley Drive residence last August.
Authorities said the disturbance involved Vital and his mother and stepfather.
Hawkins called police about 20 minutes before he was run over to report that Vital had pushed his wife, police said.
Vital left the residence when asked to do so, but later returned and ran Hawkins over, pinning him under the vehicle, police said. Hawkins died at the scene.
Police said Hawkins had fired a .22-caliber rifle at least twice after Vital returned. One of the bullets went through the windshield of Vital’s vehicle, and the second went through a neighbor’s door, police said.