Man faces murder charge after hit-and-run
Tuesday, October 15, 2013 11:00 AM
A Carrollton man was indicted Monday by a Carroll County grand jury on four charges - including one count of murder - after police say he caused the death of a pedestrian after driving while intoxicated.
James Nathan Wilhoite, 24, of Carrollton, was charged with murder, a capital offense; leaving the scene of an accident, a Class D felony; possession of a controlled substance, a Class A misdemeanor; and operating a vehicle while intoxicated after hitting and killing 27-year-old Michael Beach.
According to the indictment, Wilhoite could face up to 50 years in jail, a fine of not more than $10,000 and the loss of his driver's license for not less than five years if found guilty of the murder charge.
According to a state police investigation, Wilhoite struck and killed Beach on KY 227 on Oct. 8. Police say Beach had been walking on the side of the road around 9 p.m. when Wilhoite's vehicle crossed the white line and hit him.
Wilhoite left the scene of the accident or failed to immediately stop and render assistance after the collision that resulted in the death of Beach when he knew or should have known Beach died or suffered serious physical injury in the accident, the indictment said.
State police reports said Wilhoite parked the vehicle in an adjacent parking lot following the accident.
Beach was transported to the Carroll County Memorial Hospital where he was later pronounced dead by Henry County Coroner James Pollard.
Wilhoite was apprehended by police after the accident and taken to the Carroll County Detention Center, where he was released on a cash bond the same day. He initially faced charges of manslaughter and operating a vehicle while intoxicated.
According to the grand jury indictment, Wilhoite was also in possession of a controlled substance - Hydrocodone - at the time of the accident.
Wilhoite was arrested on the four charges Monday and taken to the Carroll County Detention Center, where he remains lodged.