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Man pleads guilty to manslaughter

Sentencing will be Wednesday

A Chesapeake man arrested last year for shooting his wife’s lover took a plea bargain Friday, just three days before his murder trial was set to begin.

William Elkins Sr., 55, of 3493 County Road 31, pleaded guilty to a first-degree count of manslaughter with a gun specification on Friday in Lawrence County Common Pleas Court. That charge was reduced from aggravated murder.

According to Lawrence County Prosecuting Attorney Brigham Anderson, the jury in this case would have had the option of convicting Elkins with either aggravated murder or manslaughter, the difference being manslaughter is a “sudden fit of passion or rage brought on by provocation by the victim.”

Anderson said Elkins came home to find his wife having sex with the victim, Ricky L. Crager, 57, of South Point.

The maximum sentence Elkins could receive is 11 years in prison plus three years for the gun charge, which must run consecutively, for a total of 14 years in prison.

Sentencing will be Wednesday.