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At-fault driver in fatal crash pleads guilty

La Plata, MD - A Newburg man who was indicted on charges related to a December crash that claimed the life of a 21-year-old Hughesville woman entered a guilty plea Aug. 30 in Charles County Circuit Court, documents on file indicated. The defendant, Daniel Juwan Butler, 23, (pictured, right) pleaded guilty to negligent manslaughter by motor vehicle. The charge is a felony. Four other charges, including two felony counts for negligent homicide while operating a motor vehicle while under the influence, were dropped as part of the plea agreement.

The crash occurred during the early morning hours of Dec. 7 on Route 6 west of Cooksey Road. The victim, Taylor Anne Halblieb, and Butler, were transported to the University of Maryland Charles Regional Medical Center. Halblieb died shortly after arriving at the hospital.

According to a Maryland State Police (MSP) report, Halblieb (pictured, left) had just left work and was traveling east on Route 6. She was driving a Hyundai Elantra. Butler was driving a 2004 Ford F-150, also traveling east. Police reported Halblieb’s Elantra was stopped and was rear-ended by the Ford F-150. The impact pushed the Elantra into the path of a Honda traveling west. The driver of the Honda was not injured. A passenger in the F-150 was flown to Prince George’s Hospital Center.

During the Aug. 30 plea hearing, Butler, who was indicted in June, was represented by attorney James E. Farmer. Charles County State’s Attorney Tony Covington represented the state.

A pre-sentence investigation was ordered. Butler’s sentencing hearing is tentatively scheduled for Oct. 30.

Contact Marty Madden at marty.madden@thebaynet.com

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