WHEELING, W.Va. — A Louisiana man pleaded guilty Thursday to a misdemeanor charge in connection with the August beating death of Wheeling Jesuit University student Kevin Figaniak.
Ohio County Prosecutor Scott Smith said Jarrett Chandler, 24, of Winnfield, La., pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter and was sentenced to a year in jail.
Chandler and co-defendant Craig Peacock, 22, of Clewiston, Fla., were originally charged with second-degree murder shortly after Figaniak died following the Aug. 31 attack that took place in downtown Wheeling. Both men were indicted earlier this month—Chandler on involuntary manslaughter and Peacock on a general murder charge.
Smith said the charges match the evidence.
“As in all cases, we review all of the evidence that is turned over to us by law enforcement and base our charging decisions on the evidence and the law,” he said.
The original criminal complaint said the two were charged after police viewed video surveillance, social media and police interviews were conducted. Police found them at an Ohio County campsite where oil and gas workers typically stay.
Both agreed to give videotaped statements and told police they and their friends got into a verbal altercation with two men, one of whom was Figaniak. Both said they followed the men down Edgington Lane, through the intersection and onto Locust Avenue where the fight began.
Figaniak died in a Pittsburgh hospital a day after the fight.
Smith said he’s preparing for Peacock’s trial that is scheduled for later this year. He wouldn’t say if Chandler is expected to testify.
“I don’t want to get into the details too much. We’ll just have to wait and see what happens at trial,” Smith said.