GOSHEN — A Middlebury man charged with reckless homicide and involuntary manslaughter pleaded guilty Thursday morning, April 25, at the Elkhart Circuit Court.
Larry Hewitt, 43, of 52940 York Hills Drive, Middlebury, pleaded guilty to one count of reckless homicide and agreed to a 6 1/2-year prison term. Other terms of his sentence will be decided by the judge. The other count, involuntary manslaughter, was dismissed.
Charles Wolfinger’s body was pulled from the Elkhart River shortly before 9 p.m. July 17, 2012.
Hewitt was arrested mid-January in West Memphis, Ark., and extradited to Indiana. The court issued a warrant for Hewitt’s arrest Dec. 26.
According to court files, Hewitt called police in July and told them he thought he had killed another man.
Hewitt said he was drinking with a friend in Elkhart when the two began fighting in the Elkhart River behind Martin’s Super Market on Jackson Boulevard. Hewitt said Wolfinger became unresponsive. Hewitt panicked and left.
Wolfinger died of multiple blunt force injuries, possible drowning and acute intoxication, according to court files. Wolfinger had injuries to his head and torso, including broken ribs and injuries to internal organs.
Elkhart Circuit Court Judge Terry Shewmaker accepted Hewitt’s plea and scheduled sentencing hearing for 8:30 a.m. May 23.