Possible Plea Coming in Fatal Leaving the Scene Incident from Spring 2021

By Benjamin Cox on January 13, 2023 at 9:54am

2021 Booking Photo of Edward Baldwin III (Morgan County Sheriff's Office)

A Jacksonville man charged with leaving the scene of a fatal crash in the Spring of 2021 may soon have his case completed in Morgan County Court.

32 year old Edward E. Baldwin III of the 600 block of South East Street appeared in court Wednesday afternoon for a status hearing on the case. Baldwin is accused of the leaving the scene of a crash in the 400 block of South East Street on the evening of April 13, 2021. Baldwin’s vehicle is said to have collided with a motorcycle driven by 22 year old Richard J. Gregory. Gregory died in an area hospital nearly two weeks later.

The case has had some lengthy continuances due to Covid-19 and due to Baldwin’s defense counsel, Morgan County Public Defender Tom Piper acting as stand-by counsel in the Dustin Finlaw murder trial last year.

Visiting Scott County Judge David Cherry said in court Wednesday afternoon the “very sensitive” case needed to be resolved “sooner rather than later” for the court due to the lengthy delays.

Morgan County State’s Attorney Gray Noll believes a resolution between the state and the defense is likely: “Negotiations with the defense are certainly ongoing. It is an older case. We filed the charges in May 2021, so we are coming up on two years. It’s not necessarily a long time for a serious felony offense, which obviously, this is. We are to the point where if we cannot come to a negotiated agreement on the matter, it will proceed to trial. My prediction would be that it will be resolved, one way or the other, in the first half of 2023.”

The next status for a possible plea agreement has been set for March 15th at 1:30. The date places the case beyond the March jury call if no resolution can be reached. If a plea is not reached, an April jury call would then likely be scheduled.