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Westminster man to serve 8 years for negligent manslaughter by vehicle after he struck, killed man

John B. Batz
John B. Batz (Carroll County Sheriff's Office)

A Westminster man will serve eight years in prison for negligent manslaughter after he struck and killed a man with his vehicle in Hampstead on Feb. 15.

John B. Batz, 32, of the 3600 block of Turkeyfoot Road pleaded not guilty under an agreed statement of facts to negligent manslaughter by vehicle, which is functionally a guilty plea, online court records indicate. As part of the plea agreement, the state did not seek to prosecute Batz on the remaining six counts, which included charges of driving under the influence of alcohol and fleeing the scene after a crash.

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In Carroll County Circuit Court on Dec. 10, Judge Thomas F. Stansfield sentenced Batz to 15 years with all but eight years suspended, as well as five years of probation, online court records show. Batz was ordered to pay just over $5,000 in restitution to a relative of the victim.

Batz was criminally indicted June 27, entered his plea Dec. 10 and began serving his sentence Monday, online court records show.

According to court documents, Batz was driving a truck that struck Hampstead resident Eric Hendler, who was walking along Brodbeck Road on Feb. 15 at about 3:15 a.m. Batz consumed more than 20 drinks earlier that evening in a local bar before the crash, according to the documents.

Batz left the scene after the collision and Hendler, 31, died shortly after from his injuries, according to the documents. An investigation led to Batz’s arrest, as his “truck had damage consistent with a collision with the victim and evidence left at the scene matched [Batz’s] vehicle,” according to the documents, which also note Batz and his vehicle were seen in the area near the time of the crash.

The attorney for the state was not immediately available for comment Tuesday.

“Nobody wanted to go through a trial,” said Leonard Shapiro, one of Batz’s attorneys. “He couldn’t be more sorry.”

Shapiro said the judge handed down a fair sentence.

Batz’s second attorney, Peter Korzenewski, was not immediately available for comment.

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