A 29-year-old Neosho man pleaded guilty Monday in Jasper County Circuit Court to a count of driving while intoxicated in an accident resulting in the death of another person.

Port A.H. Keough Jr. changed his plea to guilty on the charge in a plea agreement calling for an eight-year prison term. The defendant was facing up to 10 years on the charge.

Circuit Judge Dean Dankelson delayed formal acceptance or rejection of the plea deal and ordered a sentencing-assessment of Keough to be completed prior to a sentencing hearing Jan. 13.

The conviction stems from a single-vehicle accident Dec. 5, 2017, on Junge Boulevard west of the Joplin city limits in Jasper County that claimed the life of Zachary R. Green, 33, of Galena, Kansas.

Keough was driving a westbound Dodge Challenger at a high rate of speed when the car ran off Junge Boulevard west of Malang Road and struck five mailboxes before smashing into a concrete culvert, according to a probable-cause affidavit filed in the case. The vehicle ended up in on its top in a ditch. Green, the lone occupant other than Keough, was thrown from the vehicle.

Keough was taken to Freeman Hospital West in Joplin, where he admitted to a Missouri State Highway Patrol trooper that he had been driving the vehicle and that the deceased victim was his friend, according to the affidavit. He admitted that he was drunk at the time.

The defendant's plea agreement calls for his sentence to run concurrently with any sentence received in a felony property damage case that remains pending before the court.

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