Charles McNeil pleaded guilty on Tuesday to two charges in the death of fellow Wilmington resident Kim Forte, who he struck and killed with his car two years ago.
On Tuesday in Lowell Superior Court, a judge accepted terms of the plea agreement which will result in prison time for McNeil, according to the Middlesex County District Attorney's Office. McNeil will serve two and a half to three years in state prison on the charge of motor vehicle homicide by operating on the influence of drugs and negligence.
In addition, he pleaded guilty to operating under the influence of drugs, second offense. He was sentenced to 2.5 years in the house of corrections for that charge with the balance suspended five years. McNeil will serve 60 days for that count with a conditional probation period added.
Under the conditions of the plea, McNeil cannot drive, will have his license suspended for 15 years, cannot use drugs or alcohol and must undergo drug and alcohol treatment, according to the District Attorney’s Office.
Lou Forte was in attendance and as he and other family members gave statements. According to Forte, McNeil apologized to the family for his actions. McNeil admitted during the plea that he was under the influence of drugs when he struck and killed Forte.
“Kim woke up and acted responsibly that morning like she always did. He didn’t act responsibly,” said Forte. “She didn’t wake up and say ‘I’m going to get killed today.’ I don’t think he woke up and said ‘I’m going to kill someone today,’ but he treated his own body irresponsibly. And because of that, we suffered a tremendous loss, a loss that can never be fixed.”
For more reaction to the plea deal, check back with Wilmington Patch on Tuesday.