- Associated Press - Monday, October 27, 2014

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) - A Springfield man has been sentenced to seven years in prison after his girlfriend, who was fleeing from him, hit and killed a bicyclist.

Blake Basten, 24, originally faced felony murder charge in the Nov. 17 death of 23-year-old Zachary Gibson near Missouri State University. The driver of the car that hit Gibson, Shannon Smith, was trying to get away from Basten, her boyfriend at the time who had brandished a gun while chasing her in a stolen vehicle, police said.

Basten was sentenced last week after pleading guilty to involuntary manslaughter, tampering with a motor vehicle, property damage, leaving the scene of an accident and resisting arrest. He also pleaded guilty to burglary in a separate case and was given a 10-year sentence, which will run concurrently.

Smith, 32, pleaded guilty in March to leaving the scene of an accident, The Springfield News-Leader reported (https://sgfnow.co/1tYFvpl ).

On the same day, he pleaded guilty to burglary in a separate case and received a 10-year sentence. All of Basten’s sentences will run concurrently.

According to a probable cause statement, Smith told police she was hoping police would stop her as she sped toward police headquarters while trying to elude Basten. When Smith made it to headquarters, she stopped and honked her horn hoping to attract police attention but she drove away when Basten intentionally hit the rear of her car twice. Surveillance footage confirms Smith’s story, police said.

Smith was driving about 85 mph when she saw Gibson but could not avoid hitting him. She fled the scene but was arrested in Buffalo two days later. She has not been sentenced in this case but her plea caused her probation on a tampering conviction to be revoked and she was sent to prison for four years.

Basten was arrested four days after Gibson’s death while attempting to flee from police.


Information from: Springfield News-Leader, https://www.news-leader.com

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