Revelations from victim’s family leads to sudden guilty plea of man who hit, killed woman with his vehicle

Published 5:49 am Sunday, February 28, 2021

The trial of a Mississippi man accused of striking and killing a woman with his vehicle took an unexpected turn thanks to a change of heart and a moment of grace.

Erick Evan admitted he killed Candace Morgan, 35, in Sept. 2019 — hitting Morgan with his truck and then speeding away without stopping to check on Morgan’s condition or notifying authorities.

After two days of testimony, Evans learned that a member of Morgan’s family had been through a similar situation and, as a result, was willing to show compassion, the Laurel Leader-Call reports. 

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Candace Morgan’s older brother Sean Morgan told Evans that he had been in an accident 20 years ago that resulted in the death of a mother of two. Sean said that the accident has “messed with my life in ways you don’t even want to know” but that he had also received compassion from the family of the victim and could imagine taking Evans away from his family for the 5- to 10-year prison sentence Evans was facing.

District Attorney Tony Buckley, sat down with Evans, the defense and the Morgan family and all the parties agreed to accept Evan’s guilty plea and the sentencing recommendations from Buckley.

The judge accepted the pleas saying “There are no winners in this case.”

Evans will serve three years of probation with the Mississippi Department of Corrections, pay a $1,000 fine and do community service four hours per week. Judge Dal Williamson allowed a non-adjudicated sentence, which means the court will only accept the guilty plea after Evans completes its requirements, after which he’ll be eligible for expungement.