Crime

Man pleads guilty, gets 20-year sentence in fatal Lexington crash

A man charged with murder in a New Circle Road crash that killed a woman in 2010 pleaded guilty Monday to first-degree manslaughter and other charges.

Adam T. Leake, 26, waived sentencing, and Fayette Circuit Court Judge Pamela Goodwine sentenced him to 20 years in prison. Leake, who has been in jail for about two years, will be eligible for parole consideration in about eight years.

Leake's guilty plea came after he worked out a plea deal with prosecutors. A jury trial in the case had been scheduled to start Monday.

Leake admitted in court to driving drunk at high speed on New Circle Road in January 2010, causing a crash that killed Connie S. Layne, 40.

Leake was driving the wrong way on the inner loop between 11 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. Jan. 19 when his Hyundai XG350 sideswiped a car driven by Kelley Medley, 32, of Lexington, then hit Layne's Suzuki Forenza head-on, according to police. The crash sent the transmission and engine of Leake's vehicle into the outer loop of New Circle Road, where they hit a car driven by Chelsea Oliver, 24, of Lexington.

According to initial reports, the headlights of Leake's vehicle were off at the time of the crash, which occurred between Alumni Drive and Tates Creek Road.

Layne died at the scene; Leake, Medley and Oliver were injured.

Leake was indicted on a murder charge, two counts of fourth-degree assault and driving under the influence in April 2010. He later was charged with two counts of first-degree wanton endangerment for allegedly endangering the lives of Christopher Costas and James Kammer, whom authorities said had to swerve their vehicles to miss the crash.

In addition to the less-serious manslaughter charge, Leake pleaded guilty Monday to all of the other charges.

Prosecutor Lori Boling recommended that Leake serve 12 years on the manslaughter conviction and four years on each of the wanton endangerment charges, with the time to run consecutively, which comes to 20 years. The prosecutor also recommended that Leake serve 12 months on each of the assault charges, and be fined and have his driver's license suspended for the driving under the influence charge. The sentences on the assault counts, which are misdemeanors, will run concurrently with the time he received for the manslaughter and wanton endangerment charges, which are felonies.

Goodwine accepted the prosecution's recommendations.

Leake apologized in court Monday. He said "with no intent to cause harm," he drove drunk at a high rate of speed, causing Layne's death and injuries to the other women.

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