- Associated Press - Friday, December 19, 2014

ST. GEORGE, Utah (AP) - A southern Utah man accused of fatally beating a man with a tree branch accepted a plea deal this week that allows him to avoid a lifetime prison sentence.

The Spectrum of St. George reports (https://bit.ly/1wUYnng ) 55-year-old John Stettler Stucki of LaVerkin pleaded guilty Thursday to lesser charges of manslaughter and obstruction of justice. He will serve two years in prison, one for each charge.

Stucki is accused of hitting 64-year-old Donald George Loomer with a large tree branch and coffee mug during a drunken brawl.

Stucki’s attorney, Edward Flint, says his client has great regrets about Loomer’s death and is satisfied with the agreement.

Prosecutor Zachary Weiland says Loomer’s family didn’t want the case to go to trial.

Stucki has been in jail since his arrest in October 2013.

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Information from: The Spectrum, https://www.thespectrum.com

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