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W.Va. man pleads to misdemeanor in stepson’s death

Feb. 07, 2013 @ 09:14 AM

WESTON, W.Va. (AP) — A Weston man faces up to a year in jail after pleading guilty to involuntary manslaughter in the death of his stepson.

Gary Allen Wiant is scheduled to be sentenced April 1 in Lewis County Circuit Court.

The Exponent Telegram reports that the 39-year-old pleaded guilty to the misdemeanor charge on Wednesday. He had been indicted on a second-degree murder charge.

Lewis County prosecutor Mike Smith told the judge that the victim, 19-year-old Cory Burkhart, had special needs and a history of outbursts.

Smith says Wiant intervened when Burkhart attacked his mother, Angela Burkhart. Cory Burkhart died from asphyxiation during a struggle.

Angela Burkhart faces charges of death of an incapacitated adult by a caregiver, along with unrelated welfare fraud charges.

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