Northern Kentucky man pleads guilty to murder for 2 New Years’ Eve deaths

Mark Huffman pleads guilty to two counts of murder for causing the crash that killed two people in Independence on New Year's Eve in 2015 (WKRC)

COVINGTON, Ky. (WKRC) - The man who slammed head-on into David and Ella McNay on New Year’s Eve 2015 is headed to prison for 20 years for their deaths.

Sixty-one-year-old Mark Huffman pleaded guilty to two counts of murder in Kenton County Circuit Court Friday morning after working out a plea agreement with prosecutors. Judge Gregory Bartlett accepted Huffman’s plea and will formally sentence him on Sept. 8.

“Do I think it’s going to be long enough?” asked David McNay’s sister Laura Rimer after the hearing. “There’s no amount of time that can give us that back.”

Huffman was traveling northbound on KY 17 that night when he turned left at Pelly Road and slammed into the McNays. Huffman’s blood-alcohol level was more than twice the legal limit. He also had opiates and benzodiazepine in his blood.

Prosecutor Rob Sanders said no sentence is a fair deal when the victims die. He says the 20-year sentence is just. The McNay family signed off on it.

“In the Daniel Greis trial, I was really taken aback that he killed five people, including three kids, and the jury only gave him 20 years. We had to reevaluate how smart it was to be rolling the dice on a defendant getting a lesser included charge because it’s not easy to get murder convictions in DUI cases,” Sanders said.

Huffman made no comments during the hearing. He must serve 85 percent of his sentence before he is eligible for parole. Because of the time he’s already served since the crash, he will be eligible for parole in about 14-and-a-half years.

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