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Benton man pleads guilty to negligent death

January 27, 2009 at 4:16 p.m.

— A Saline County man admitted Tuesday he was driving drunk, had cocaine in his system and was speeding when he struck and killed a bicyclist last October, a prosecutor says.

Kirk Shelnut, 37, of Benton, pleaded guilty to negligent homicide in the Oct. 13 death of Christopher Daniels of Benton, according to a news release from the office of Prosecutor Ken Casady.

Shelnut was sentenced by Circuit Judge Gary Arnold to three years in prison, followed by a seven-year suspended sentence, the release said. Shelnut has paid restitution to Daniels' family for medical and funeral expenses, according to the release.

Daniels' father, Chris Daniels Sr., told the court that the victim's family forgave Shelnut and they were sorry his family would be without him while he is serving prison time, the release said.

For more information see Wednesday's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

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