A 22-year-old man pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter Thursday afternoon in the death of his stepfather.
Cail Hampton Huggins, of Goodall Mill Road, was sentenced to 10 years on probation and ordered to pay a $1,000 fine.
Huggins’ stepfather, Matthew R. Kersey, of Nowell Drive, died May 17, 2009, hours after a confrontation with Huggins in which Huggins struck Kersey, authorities said.
Autopsy results showed that Kersey, 31, died from injuries he sustained when he fell after being struck.
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Ronald Kersey, Matthew Kersey’s father, said Huggins’ actions were unnecessary.
“It wasn’t a fair fight,” he said, explaining that Huggins — at about 300 pounds — was much larger than his son.
He said his family opposed the joint recommendation for sentencing that the prosecution and defense offered.
The prosecution did request a “lengthy time in a detention center” as part of the sentence, but Judge Martha Christian did not impose that recommendation.
Ronald Kersey and Johnny Kersey, one of Matthew Kersey’s brothers, said Huggins deserved 10 years in prison.
“Our brother isn’t out walking around,” Johnny Kersey said. “He (Huggins) shouldn’t be out walking around.”
Wanda Kersey said she and Matthew Kersey were married for 11 years, and her husband raised her two children as his own.
“He was an awesome daddy,” she said.
Kersey said her husband wasn’t himself on the day he died. They had traveled to a motorcycle rally in Reynolds.
One minute they were holding hands, and the next he was angry and drove back to Macon, she said.
“He wasn’t in his right mind,” Kersey said, describing how Matthew Kersey had not taken insulin that day to control his diabetes and how he was drinking alcohol. She said he’d been hit in the head at work that day and had been complaining of a headache.
Kersey said she left Reynolds with Huggins, and the two drove home to check on Matthew Kersey.
When they arrived, Kersey said he wanted his wife to leave, she said.
“It was like he was enraged,” she explained.
Huggins’ lawyer, Mike Cranford, said Huggins stepped in to protect his mother and tried to calm his stepfather down.
Huggins said Matthew Kersey swung at him and he braced for the hit. Kersey ran into him and fell down.
“I love my dad with all my heart,” he said. “I never swung at him.”
Wanda Kersey said she called 911 and tried to revive her husband.
“I tried to save him,” she said.
To contact writer Amy Leigh Womack, call 744-4398.