Man charged in death of girlfriend pleads guilty to involuntary - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

Man charged in death of girlfriend pleads guilty to involuntary manslaughter

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Jeremy Leutgens from his most recent arrest (Source: New Hanover County Detention Center) Jeremy Leutgens from his most recent arrest (Source: New Hanover County Detention Center)
What Jeremy Leutgens used to look like What Jeremy Leutgens used to look like

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) – A man charged in the death of his girlfriend pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter Monday. 

Jeremy Martin Leutgens was arrested and charged in connection to the death of 25-year-old Stephanie Chappell Hobson in 2012. A judge sentenced Leutgens to 17-30 months in prison minus the time he's already served.

Family of the victim, Stehpanie Hobson, spoke in court Monday. Hobson was adopted when she was two months old, and her biological sister told the judge how the two recently connected. A surprise visit was planned, but her sister said Hobson died before it could happen.

"You should never have to bury your own children," said the victim's father Stephen Hobson.

District Attorney Ben David explained the details of the Hobson's death and the investigation that followed it.

Leutgens first told sheriff's deputies that his girlfriend bought the synthetic drug 25i off the Internet, according to David. Leutgens told 911 operators he had been with Hobson all night and "then all of a sudden" she died.

That story changed when detectives found evidence suggesting otherwise.

The couple took a double dose of the drug after friends who previously took a single dose from Leutgens told him they didn't feel anything.

Investigators found four videos on Leutgens' phone, which were played for the judge in court Monday. Those videos, according to prosecutors, first showed Hobson impaired on the drug and later moaning and unresponsive.

The last video was recorded at about 12:30 p.m. on July 18, 2012. Leutgens wouldn't call 911 until almost an hour later, and after reaching out to other drug users about Hobson's situation.

The district attorney said Leutgens inability to call for help sooner is the focus of the criminal charges, but state law does not hold non-married couples responsible for a duty to act.

David said the defendant put his girlfriend in danger by supplying the drug, then he failed to help her before it was too late.

Leutgens later told investigators that he didn't call 911 right away because he was worried about getting in trouble.  A new state law protects people from certain misdemeanor charges when reporting an overdose.

Asking for a lesser sentence, Leutgens' attorney highlighted his mental health. He has been diagnosed with ADHD, depression, anxiety and Asperger syndrome.

Leutgen's will return to court in Pender County for two DWI charges.

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