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Sentencing delayed for defendant in fatal horse accident

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Wednesday, April 2, 2014, at 3:18 p.m.
  • Updated Thursday, April 3, 2014, at 6:54 a.m.

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The sentencing for a man convicted of two felonies for a July 5, 2013, hit-and-run accident that killed a man and seriously injured a boy who were riding a horse was postponed Wednesday after his lawyer challenged the way his criminal history was calculated.

A pre-sentence report said George Childers, 26, had a criminal history score of “A” – the highest level and one that carries a presumptive prison sentence for Childers’ crimes.

The defense lawyer, Monique Centeno, said Childers’ actual score was a “C” – a level that would result in presumptive sentence of probation.

The report listed 28 convictions for Childers’ including such serious charges as criminal discharge of a firearm at an occupied building and possession of cocaine with intent to sell.

But Centeno said it was a series of traffic convictions that drove her client’s history score to the level of A. She asked for a continuance to allow her to file a written challenge to a law that says three misdemeanor convictions can sometimes count as a felony when calculating a defendant’s criminal history score. She said her client would not have pleaded guilty to those misdemeanors had he known they would affect his score.

District Judge Joe Kisner granted the request and rescheduled the sentencing for April 22.

Wichita police said Childers was driving a Mercury Grand Marquis on 21st Street when he ran into a horse being ridden by 49-year-old Lloyd Ferguson and 6-year-old Eddie Caddell on 21st Street near Piatt. Ferguson was killed and the boy was seriously hurt.

Police said a Crime Stoppers tip nearly a month later led them to the Grand Marquis, which was parked in a garage in the 2900 block of North Coolidge.

The horse was euthanized after the accident.

Reach Hurst Laviana at 316-268-6499 or hlaviana@wichitaeagle.com. Follow him on Twitter: @hlaviana.

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