Lamont Allen Arthur Jr. pleaded guilty Friday to killing a Casper bicyclist in a plea agreement that would send him to prison for a maximum of 16 years.
Arthur was drunk when he crashed into Harker while Harker was riding his bicycle downtown.
Arthur pleaded guilty to aggravated homicide by vehicle, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. Prosecutors dismissed a charge of aggravated assault in the plea agreement.
Arthur will also be required to pay restitution to the Harker family for medical and funeral costs.
For Stacy Harker, Matthew Harker’s wife, the plea agreement means she doesn’t have to endure a trial, and for that she is relieved.
“I feel like this is just a small bit of justice for Matt,” Stacy said. “And hopefully it gives Mr. Arthur a chance to clean up his life.”
Natrona County District Attorney Mike Blonigen said Arthur has been remorseful since the crash that took Harker’s life.
"I think he’s sincere,” Blonigen said. “But you have to look at all the damage that was caused."
Stacy Harker said that knowing Arthur feels remorse makes the tragedy feel less senseless.
A friend who was in Arthur’s car prior to the collision asked to be let out because of Arthur’s reckless driving. Blood tests indicated Arthur’s blood alcohol concentration at the time of the crash was above the legal limit for driving in Wyoming.
Arthur turned himself in to Casper police July 3, three days after authorities issued a warrant for his arrest. Court records show Arthur has a previous conviction for driving under the influence and causing injury to his girlfriend.
Natrona County Circuit Court Judge Steven Brown ruled July 15 that statements by Arthur to police that he had faulty brakes before the crash established probable cause for the case to proceed to district court.
Stacy Harker, who moved to Utah with her three young boys to be close to family after the crash, said she is anxious to return to Casper for Arthur’s sentencing hearing. She said her children are still grieving the loss of their dad.
Her 4-year-old son, Sawyer, saw a bicyclist Thursday night while driving home with his mom. He thought it was his dad.
Before Stacy could say anything, he said, “But daddy’s dead.”
Arthur will be sentenced at a later date.