Frankfort man pleads guilty to causing deadly crash
A 22-year-old Frankfort man pleaded guilty on March 1 to second-degree manslaughter and other felony charges for causing a deadly car crash that claimed the life of an 11-year-old Georgetown boy. Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Lee Greenup made a recommendation that William Cody Mefford serve 12 months in the Woodford County Detention Center before being released on shock probation. The remainder of a 20-year prison sentence will be suspended under terms of his plea agreement on charges of second-degree manslaughter, three counts of first-degree wanton endangerment, leaving the scene of an accident, possession of drug paraphernalia (misdemeanor), possession of marijuana (misdemeanor) and disregarding a traffic control device. Woodford Circuit Judge Rob Johnson described a plea agreement with a recommendation for shock probation as not a typical resolution in criminal cases. He told Mefford that, as in all cases, if he cannot accept the offer after reading a pre-sentencing report, "I'll give you the opportunity to withdraw your guilty plea." He described that as his usual instruction to any defendant in a felony case. According to an indictment, Mefford disregarded a red light at the Frankfort Road - Midway Road intersection, resulting in a vehicle crash on July 12, 2015, that caused fatal injuries to the boy and non-fatal injuries to three others, including his parents. "We've met many times over this (case). And after a lot of prayerful consideration, they felt this was the best way to go forward," Greenup told Johnson. Greenup said one of the factors in the decision to move forward with a plea agreement was an evidentiary issue regarding blood alcohol concentration. "So that is something we took into consideration when we ultimately entered into this agreement," he said. Under the plea agreement, Mefford must complete 250 hours of community service during each of his five years on shock probation. He must also report to court for reviews if necessary and be subject to random drug/alcohol tests. Mefford was scheduled for sentencing on April 5 at 9:30 a.m. in Woodford Circuit Court, but he agreed to begin serving his jail time on March 1.