Hatfield Admits to Drunk Driving in Deadly Accident

John Hatfield, an Arkansas resident who came to West Virginia as a gas driller, will serve two-to-10 years after pleading guilty Friday to DUI causing death.

Hatfield appeared before Judge David Sims on Friday and admitted he blew 0.234 on an blood-alcohol content test in the early morning hours of Nov. 11, 2012, after he crashed his car into another vehicle, causing the death of Stephanie Stahl.

Hatfield told Sims he agreed with Assistant Prosecuter Brian Ghaphery’s assessment of what happened on that night.

“He was driving under the influence at 3 a.m. near the intersection of Cabela Drive and McCutcheon Road when he struck another vehicle occupied by Stephanie Stahl and Nicole Grey,” Ghaphery said. Both victims were taken local hospital, where Stahl died,” Ghaphery said.

He said the impact of the collision broke the victim’s neck and caused her heart to stop.

An Ohio County grand jury indicted Hatfield for a felony offense of DUI causing death and a misdemeanor charge of DUI causing injury. The plea agreement called for the lesser charge to be dropped.

Hatfield’s defense attorney, Paul Harris, told the court his client took the plea to put this case behind him and spare the victims’ families the trauma of reliving the case during a trial.

Sims accepted the plea but delayed sentencing for about a month pending completion of a pre-sentence investigation report. Hatfield will remain on house arrest until sentencing.