Commonwealth Journal

March 7, 2014

Pulaski man pleads guilty in death of PCHS student

by Chris Harris
Commonwealth Journal

Somerset — The driver charged in the 2013 death of a Pulaski County High School student has pleaded guilty to manslaughter.

Commonwealth’s Attorney Eddy F. Montgomery confirmed that his office had reached a plea deal with William Wesley, who was arrested last year in connection with the fatal accident while apparently driving under the influence.

Wesley, of Science Hill, pleaded guilty to second-degree manslaughter and first degree criminal mischief.

The manslaughter charge carried a 10-year prison sentence and the criminal mischief charge two-and-a-half years, meaning Wesley will serve out a 12-and-a-half-year sentence in total.

On April 15, 2013, Wesley was operating a 1999 Hyundai eastbound on Ky. 635 when he crossed into the path of a 2003 Suzuki motorcycle driven by Jacob Ebenstein, 19, which was headed westbound, according to the sheriff’s report at the time.

Ebenstein was ejected from the motorcycle. According to Sheriff Todd Wood, he was wearing a helmet at the time of the accident.

Montgomery said the experts of each side were in disagreement on the speed involved.

“There was no dispute that that the defendent was drunk,” said Montgomery. “The only dispute was about how fast the motorcycle was going.

Wesley was arrested at the scene and charged with operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol/drugs/etc., .08, a first offense.

Following the accident, the sheriff’s department gave Wesley the additional charge of murder.

According to the arrest warrant, Wesley smelled strongly of alcohol and told Deputy Charles Boston that he had been fishing and drank four beers within the last two hours. Wesley also blew a .259 on the preliminary breath test. A blood sample was taken and sent to the Kentucky State Police lab for analysis.

Ebenstein was a Pulaski County High School senior only a month away from graduation when he died.

Final sentencing in the case is set for April 17.