The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

February 20, 2013

Driver pleads in death of boy, 5

Kathy Mellott

BEDFORD — A Bedford County man has entered a guilty plea to vehicular homicide in the death of a boy, and another man is trying to withdraw his guilty plea in the death of his best friend.

Cory Franklin Childers, 23, of Bedford, is scheduled to be sentenced March 22 for the April 29 death of Julyen Winters, 5, of Hagerstown, Md.

A Bedford County judge will hear arguments March 4 in an attempt by Randy Foor to withdraw his Dec. 3 guilty plea in the death of Dennis Sprigg, 49, his longtime friend.

DA seeking long sentence

In the death of the boy, Childers pleaded guilty to vehicular homicide by driving under the influence, aggravated assault by DUI, vehicular homicide and drunken driving.

The plea involved the most serious charges against Childers, Bedford County District Attorney William Higgins said Wednesday.

The maximum prison sentence Childers can receive under state law is 10 years, and Higgins said he will seek that penalty.

“Ten years, that’s all he can get, and I’m going to push for the maximum,” he said.

Police said Childers was driving north on Route 220 when his car crossed the double yellow line and into the path of a southbound minivan driven by Rory Slade Jenkins, 52.

The child was a passenger in Jenkins’ vehicle, which was struck on the driver’s side. The boy was ejected from the minivan.

The wreck happened near the Denny’s Restaurant across from the Bedford interchange of the turnpike.

An adult passenger in the Jenkins vehicle, Amanda JeanWinters, 28, of Hagerstown, and a 2-year-old boy received moderate injuries.

Police later reported that Childers had a blood alcohol level of 1.18 percent, more than twice the legal limit to drive in Pennsylvania. Narcotics also were detected in his system, authorities said.

Lawyer cites new evidence

In the other case, Altoona attorney Thomas Dickey told a judge there is evidence that Sprigg was attacking Foor, and his client wants a trial to prove that.

Foor, 51, of Bedford, pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter.

Police alleged that he shoved Sprigg, causing him to lose his balance, fall and strike his head on driveway pavement.

The confrontation allegedly occurred during an August party at which both men were said to be drunk.

Sprigg died in late September at Memorial Medical Center in Johnstown.


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