BECKLEY, W.V. (LOOTPRESS) – A man, who in April of 2020 caused the death of another on I-64, pleaded guilty in Raleigh County Circuit Court on Tuesday, January 11, 2022. Nicholas Robert Farthing, 36, pleaded guilty to the felony conviction of Driving Impaired Causing Death in front of Judge Darl Poling.
Reports state that on April 13, 2020, Farthing left a Raleigh County bar with his friend and entered I-64 at the Eisenhower exit. Near Beaver, Farthing rear-ended Kenneth Isaiah Brown of Hinton. Both vehicles caught on fire and, while Farthing and his passenger managed to escape, Brown was trapped inside his vehicle. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
On Tuesday, Raleigh County Prosecuting Attorney Ben Hatfield broke down the facts that the State would have presented to a jury had the case gone to trial. According to Hatfield, Farthing’s Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) was two-and-a-half times the legal limit. Additionally, through recovering data from Farthing’s car’s black box, it was determined that Farthing reached a maximum speed of 164 miles per hour during his drive on I-64. At the time of impact with Brown, Farthing was going 154 miles per hour.
“164 at peak acceleration and 154 at impact, it is an incredible display of gross recklessness,” Hatfield stated.
By pleading guilty, Farthing will serve an indeterminate sentence of no less than three nor more than 15 years and will be fined no more than $1000 nor more than $3000 dollars. He will not be eligible for probation.
The date of sentencing was not announced on Tuesday, as the state is awaiting two documents: one from the West Virginia Division of Corrections and one from the Probation Office. Farthing surrendered himself to the custody of the DOC at the conclusion of the hearing and will await his sentencing at Southern Regional Jail.
Following Tuesday’s events, Hatfield told the present media that he is glad to finally bring Brown’s family some closure, albeit two years following Brown’s death.
“In the system, some prosecutors, law enforcement and defense attorneys, every case is important to us, but we do have to go onto the next case at some point. To families, this is the most important or impactful event maybe that has ever happened to them, so getting them answers so that they can process their grief and process what they are going through adequately is probably one of my most paramount concerns.”
Hatfield continued, stating the conclusion of Farthing’s case took so long due to processing times with forensics, as well as the change in administration within the Raleigh County Prosecuting Attorney’s office when he took office last January.
“I am very glad to bring this to a conclusion and let this family kind of begin the healing process.”