AUGUSTA, Ga. — A Georgia woman pleaded guilty to reckless conduct and two counts of involuntary manslaughter Tuesday in connection with the drowning deaths of two men in 2021.
Augusta area news outlets report that Shontover Kirkland pleaded guilty Tuesday. She was sentenced to serve a year in prison and nine years of probation.
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She was charged with causing the deaths of two men — Edward Lee Kirk and Eynn Wilson. Police said she pushed Kirk into Clarks Hill Lake. Wilson, Kirk’s best friend, jumped into the water to try to save him. Both disappeared in the water.
The men’s bodies were recovered a week later.
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Kirkland, 32 at the time of her arrest, had rented two pontoon boats the day of the accident. News reports said more than a dozen people were on the boats during a birthday celebration.
According to a report by WJBF-TV, a 2021 arrest warrant said Kirkland “did unlawfully endanger the bodily safety of Edward Lee Kirk, Jr. by consciously disregarding a substantial and unjustifiable risk that her act of shoving him off a boat into deep, cold water on Clarks Hill Lake without knowing whether or not he could swim would endanger the safety of said person and the disregard constituted a gross deviation from the standard care which a reasonable person would exercise in the situation.”
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WRDW reported that Kirkland apologized for her actions to the families of the victims. Outside, police broke up a confrontation involving friends and family of Kirkland and the victims.
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