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Man pleads guilty in deadly 2012 Columbia crash

A man arrested for a deadly Columbia car accident pleaded guilty on all three counts Monday morning.

Spencer Gordon, 22, admitted to one count of involuntary manslaughter and two counts of second-degree assault. Sentencing is set for June 2.

Investigators say Gordon was driving drunk on Providence Road in December 2012 when he crashed into a truck.

Gordon said in court today he had “four or five” beers served from pitchers at Deja Vu Comedy, a comedy and nightclub in Columbia, the night of the wreck. Gordon did not mention whether Deja Vu sold him the alcohol. He was 20 at the time of the accident. Police say Gordon had a blood alcohol concentration of .122.

According to police, Gordon’s car crossed the line near Research Park Drive and hit a truck, causing it to flip several times.

The accident killed a passenger in the truck, Michelle Morrow, 24, and injured two other people. One of those injured, Michael Tufts, is in a coma, and still recovering from injuries sustained in the crash.

Both sides in the case agreed that if Tufts was to pass away due to his injuries, the state would not charge Gordon with an additional manslaughter charge.

Judge Christine Carpenter now must decide on a sentence. The prosecution asked for seven years for all three charges, running concurrently. Defense attorney Travis Noble requested Gordon receive a sentence under Missouri law 559. Those receiving this sentence serve 120 days minimum in prison, and go through drug or alcohol rehabilitation, if ordered. An official with the Department of Corrections reports the defendant’s progress to the judge before the sentence ends.

“It’s basically an opportunity for a defendant who may need shock incarceration or treatment to improve within the Department of Corrections and be granted an opportunity at probation,” prosecuting attorney Stephanie Morrell said.

The judge ultimately decides if the defendant should receive probation.

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