Man may withdraw plea in manslaughter case

Posted: Sunday, June 21, 2009

FAIRBANKS - A 65-year-old Fairbanks man convicted of vehicular manslaughter and serving a 20-year-sentence might withdraw his guilty plea.

The Alaska Court of Appeals in January said Eugene Bottcher correctly claimed his sentence was longer than others issued in similar cases.

A judge's error, in which Bottcher was given incorrect information about the time he could serve, also would let him withdraw his original plea.

District Attorney Michael Gray has said that if Bottcher withdraws his plea, he would consider seeking an indictment for Bottcher for second-degree murder, which carries a sentence of 20 to 99 years.

Prosecutors say Bottcher was drunk in May 2005 when he struck and killed a 13-year-old boy riding a bike along a rural road and continued driving.

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