Man pleads to lesser charge

The climbing wall’s owner pleaded guilty to third-degree assault.
Friday, October 22, 2004 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 1:36 a.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Marcus Floyd pleaded guilty Wednesday to a charge of third-degree assault in the death of a 22-year-old Jefferson City woman, a lesser charge after his involuntary manslaughter case ended with a hung jury in June.

The plea came after months of informal discussions about whether to retry the case, Boone County Assistant Prosecutor Richard Hicks said Thursday.

Floyd, 31, was charged with involuntary manslaughter in August 2003 for failing to keep his climbing wall safe.

Hicks said consideration of whether to retry the case began soon after hung jury. He would not specify when a formal agreement to the reduced charge and the guilty plea was reached but said formal discussions began a couple weeks ago.

Presiding Circuit Court Judge Gene Hamilton accepted the plea agreement stipulating a one-year jail sentence, which was then suspended. Instead, Floyd will serve 30 days in jail — minus two days for time already served — and two years of supervised probation.

Floyd must also pay court costs of $116.50 from a cash bond, pay $16 per day in jail and agree to sell his climbing wall within 30 days. He also cannot own a climbing wall in the future.

Hamilton delayed the beginning of Floyd’s jail sentence until 8 a.m. Monday.

In July 2003, 22-year-old Christine Ewing died following a fall from a rock-climbing wall, owned by Floyd, at a Mid-Missouri Mavericks baseball game. A cable on the wall snapped, causing the fall.

Pat Eng, Floyd’s defense attorney, could not be reached for comment on Thursday.

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