Defendant pleads to manslaughter

John Richmeier/Leavenworth Times
Justen McCarter

A Leavenworth man has pleaded guilty to manslaughter for striking a pedestrian with a motorcycle, according to a prosecution official.

Justen Michael McCarter pleaded guilty Friday to involuntary manslaughter and possession of stolen property.

The charges stem from a March 1, 2020, crash that resulted in the death of Adam Wheeler.

McCarter, 37, reportedly was traveling westbound on Ottawa Street on a motorcycle. Wheeler was struck by the motorcycle as he attempted to cross the street. Investigators believe the motorcycle was traveling between 80 and 90 mph at the time of the crash, according to County Attorney Todd Thompson.

Officers discovered the motorcycle had been stolen.

"Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends who lost their loved one," Thompson said in a news release. "Rules of the road are made for these reasons. Tragedies like this should not occur."

Two misdemeanor charges in the case were dismissed as part of a plea agreement. A drug charge that was filed in a separate case also was dismissed as part of the agreement, according to court records.

Sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 19 in Leavenworth County District Court.