West Lafayette teen pleads guilty in White Co. fatal crash

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WHITE COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) – The West Lafayette teen who was driving the car that crashed, killing a classmate pleads guilty to felony criminal charges.

17-year-old Benjamin Edwards was charged this week with two felony counts of criminal recklessness.

Edwards had an initial hearing in White County on Tuesday. He was waived into adult court and entered guilty pleas to a Level 5 felony charge of criminal recklessness causing death and a Level 6 felony charge of criminal recklessness causing serious bodily injury. That plea was taken under advisement.

Edwards is scheduled for sentencing in September. Under terms of a plea agreement, he will receive a three-year sentence for the conviction of criminal recklessness causing death, and a one year sentence for criminal recklessness causing serious bodily injury. Those terms would be served concurrently, but suspended.

Edwards would be placed on formal probation for one year and informal probation for two years. He will also be fined $1. The agreement allows for Edwards to petition to be expunged two years after completing his probation.

Edwards crashed his car on a White County road early morning May 31. Christian Burns, 17, was killed and two other classmates were hospitalized.

An accident reconstructionist determined Edwards was driving more than 100 miles per hour in a 55 mile per hour zone. He disregarded a stop sign, left the roadway and drove into a cornfield – where the car rolled over and became airborne before striking a steel utility pole.

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