When Samuel Plotnick’s trial began Wednesday morning he was potentially facing a life sentence for murder and up to 20 years in prison for allegedly assaulting four police officers.
Plotnick’s two-day trial ended late Thursday evening after jurors deliberated just 48 minutes before finding him guilty of second-degree manslaughter in the Jan. 2, 2013 death of Corinth Cemetery Road resident Jimmy Peace.
On Dec. 15, 2012, Plotnick and his girlfriend, Teresa Burnette, stopped by Peace’s home about 10 a.m. The trio drank all day before an altercation broke out about 8 p.m. when Plotnick assaulted both Burnette and Peace.
When Whitley County Sheriff’s deputies and Corbin Police arrived, Plotnick got into an argument with officers, and after being told he was under arrest, he locked his arms around a post.
Police had to stun him with a Taser in order to get him to let go of the post.
Plotnick struggled with police as they attempted to handcuff him yelling and cursing at officers, and allegedly kicked or tried to kick four officers. Eventually, he was placed in leg restraints.
Peace didn’t go to the hospital until Dec. 17 when he was treated and released at Baptist Regional Medical Center.
He returned to the Corbin hospital on Dec. 21 and was taken a short time later to the University of Kentucky Medical Center where he died on Jan. 2, 2013.
The eight-man, four-woman circuit court jury also convicted Plotnick of four counts of resisting arrest stemming from the Dec. 15 incident, which is a misdemeanor, rather than the more serious charges of third-degree assault of a police officer.
In addition, jurors convicted Plotnick of fourth-degree assault, a misdemeanor offense, stemming from injuries his girlfriend, Teresa Burnette, suffered during an altercation with Plotnick that day.
After the verdict was reached, Plotnick agreed to accept an eight-year prison sentence that prosecutors recommended on the manslaughter charge, and 12-month jail sentences for each misdemeanor conviction.
By law the misdemeanor convictions must be served at the same time as the felony sentence, which means Plotnick will receive a total sentence of eight years in prison.
He will be eligible for parole after serving 20 percent of his sentence.
This means that after Circuit Judge Dan Ballou conducts the formal sentencing hearing on Oct. 6, Plotnick will immediately be eligible to meet with the parole board and could be out of prison on parole before Christmas.
Plotnick has been incarcerated since his arrest on Dec. 15, 2012.