MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO KILLING 12-YEAR-OLD BOY WITH HIS BOAT ON TENNESSEE LAKE

CLAIBORNE COUNTY, Tenn. (WTVC) — A man will spend the next eight years in jail after he pleaded guilty to killing a child while boating drunk on a Tennessee lake last year.  62-year-old Norman Sturgill of Grayson, Kentucky, pleaded guilty to the charges on Monday, according to a release from the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency.  The accident happened on the evening of July 22 last year at Norris Lake.

Sturgill was operating a 19-foot Triton bass boat that collided with a 24-foot Chaparral open motorboat right in front of the Norris Landing Marina. The collision killed 12-year-old Conner Catlett, and injured several others.  A blood alcohol test for Sturgill right after the crash was 0.198% — more than twice Tennessee’s legal limit.

On Tuesday, Sturgill pleaded guilty to one count of vehicular homicide by intoxication and twelve counts of reckless endangerment with a deadly weapon.  A judge sentenced him to eight years in prison without the chance of parole. He’ll also have to pay $5,000 to the Victim’s Assessment Fund.

Once he’s out of prison, Sturgill will be prevented from operating any motorized vehicle, including boats, for another eight years.

The TWRA says in 2023, there were 23 boating fatalities and 129 boating under the influence arrests.  So far this year, the TWRA says there have been three boating fatalities, and TWRA officers will continue patrolling Tennessee waters to detect and apprehend impaired operators.

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