Update: Wagers Says He's Sorry

By
Fred Kight

Dateline
Updated Tue, Aug 23, 2011 12:59 pm

Update: A former Ohio University student is going to jail for 90 days after pleading guilty to negligent homicide and obstructing official business in the death of a fellow student.

James Tyler Wagers appeared in Athens County Common Pleas Court this morning, where he told the court he was sorry for the death of Eric Hansen.

He was sentenced to the jail time plus five years probation.

Wagers, who is now 21 years old, was charged with involuntary manslaughter and aggravated trafficking in drugs, but prosecutors reduced the charges as part of a plea deal.

Hansen died as a result of a fall from a dorm window at OU in April 2009.

Authorities say he was under the influence of psilocybin mushrooms and that Wagers provided the hallucinogenic drug.

Athens County Prosecutor Keller Blackburn says Wagers is just like other people his age and didn't understand the consequences of doing and distributing drugs.

"This is the price you pay.  Don't do it and if you want to do it, don't do it in my county," said Blackburn.

Blackburn says Wagers was negligent by providing a deadly weapon, which are the drugs in this case.

Hansen's parents were in the courtroom for the hearing.

Blackburn says Hansen's parents were in agreement with the plea deal and sentence, but says two years was too long for them to wait for this case to come to a conclusion.

"I think they thought it (the sentence) was an appropriate outcome.  But, maybe we all need to do a little better.  I try not to victimize the victims.  They wanted a resolution to this," said Blackburn.

Click link at bottom of page to read Wagers' plea agreement.


Two years ago, James Wagers of Mansfield was indicted here in Athens in connection with the death of fellow Ohio University student Eric Hansen.

Today that case apparently will end with a change of plea.

A hearing is scheduled for this morning for Wagers before Judge Alan Goldsberry.

Wagers, who is now 21 years old, is charged with involuntary manslaughter and aggravated trafficking in drugs.

Hansen died as a result of a fall from a dorm window at OU in April 2009.

Authorities say he was under the influence of psilocybin and that Wagers provided the hallucinogenic drug.

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