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Drunk Iowa driver who rear-ended and killed motorcyclist pleads guilty

DES MOINES – An Iowa man with prior drunk driving arrests who slammed into the back of another man’s motorcycle and killed him has pleaded guilty in court.

The life of 20-year-old Clayton Harsin of Knoxville, Iowa was cut short back on August 3, 2014. That night, as he rode his motorcycle on Highway 14 in Marion county with his friend, convicted drunk driver Michael Liggett of Monroe, Iowa rammed into the back of Clayton’s motorcycle, sending him crashing to the pavement. Liggett fled the scene as Clayton’s best friend futilely tended to him.

However, Liggett was soon caught by police and charged with crimes of felony third-offense drunk driving, vehicular homicide while drunk driving, homicide by vehicle – reckless driving, leaving the scene of a fatal accident, and two counts of assault with a dangerous weapon.

After a long series of court proceedings and a not-guilty plea, Liggett relented and struck a plea deal this week. He pleaded guilty to vehicular homicide while drunk driving, leaving the scene of a fatal accident, and one count of assault with a dangerous weapon. The other charges were dismissed.

Liggett now remains held in the Marion, Iowa county jail as he awaits sentencing on July 1.

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