A week before he was scheduled to go to trial, Brian Meegan pleaded guilty to charges of vehicular homicide and driving while intoxicated in connection to the July 1, 2012 accident that took the life of bicyclist Russell Henman.
Meegan is awaiting a Friday, Feb. 22 sentencing hearing before Delaware Superior Court Judge E. Scott Bradley and will be held at Sussex Correctional Institution in Georgetown until then.
Clad in a sweater, shirt, tie and glasses, Meegan, flanked by his attorney John Sandy, entered his plea calmly before being handcuffed by bailiffs and led away. Sandy said Meegan will serve at least 20 months in jail with a maximum of 16 1/2 years.
Meegan, 37, was driving his 2003 Jeep Wrangler in the merge lane on Service Road outside Rehoboth Beach when he struck Henman, 44, who was riding his bicycle home. Court documents showed that Meegan never stopped and was found in the nearby CVS parking lot by Delaware State Police. Meegan refused a field sobriety test and was arrested after police said Meegan “displayed slurred speech; glassy, blood shot eyes; and his breath had a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage,” court documents said.
Henman's friend Jaime Schneider did not get to attend the plea hearing, but did talk with Henman's mother afterward and said he was glad that she did not have to go through a trial. He said a possible 2-to16 1/2 year sentence seemed fair and appropriate. Schneider said while the guilty plea will not bring back the man friends knew as "Rusty," he hopes Meegan will be able to get the help he needs.
Sandy said no one could diminish the pain that Henman’s family and friends have been through. Of Meegan’s decision to plead guilty Sandy said, “He’s been extremely remorseful. He wanted to do the right thing.”