NEW CUMBERLAND - A night of drinking that resulted in a man's death will cost his accused killer a year in jail, with credit for time served.
Nevin Miser, 43, of Chester, has been in the Northern Regional Jail in Moundsville since Feb. 2, the day he was charged with the death of Daniel Bable, 57, of East Palestine, Ohio.
Miser initially faced a charge of first-degree murder. This week, Miser pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of involuntary manslaughter before 1st Judicial Circuit Court Judge Ronald E. Wilson.
Miser got the maximum penalty - a year in jail - with credit for the six months he's already served, Hancock County Prosecutor Jim Davis said.
Involuntary manslaughter means someone was committing an unlawful act that resulted in someone's death, Davis said.
"Unfortunately, we had no basis to proceed with (a first-degree murder charge) at the circuit level," Davis said. "We didn't have sufficient evidence to meet the statutory requirements: premeditation, lying in wait, committing a felony act that results in death."
Miser apparently met Bable at an East Liverpool bar the night of Feb. 1 while Miser was out with his girlfriend, Patricia Zacharias, 42, of Chester. The three went back to Zacharias' home on Braddock Lane, and a fight between the two men later ensued, Davis said.
"Mr. Miser had gone to bed. When he got back up, there were things going on between Mr. Bable and Miss Zacharias that he didn't care for. They got into a physical altercation that resulted in Mr. Miser grabbing a bat and striking Mr. Bable and escorting him out of the house," Davis said.
Bable was hit on the head and the arms, and left to lie outside for about seven hours, Davis said. He was alive when emergency medical personnel arrived the morning of Feb. 2 but died on the way to the hospital.
Davis said there were "issues of extreme intoxication" on the part of all three people. "There were issues of intent, which were impacted by the facts and the intoxication," he said. "There was even a possible defense of self-defense that I know would have been raised (at trial)."
Zacharias, although a witness, was considered unreliable.
"Her testimony would not have been sufficient for us to accomplish a more serious charge," Davis said.
Zacharias still faces a charge of being an accessory after the fact.
(Huba can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)