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Man enters guilty plea in 2009 shooting death outside Kingsport business

Kacie Breeding • Oct 12, 2012 at 12:03 PM

A Kingsport man has pleaded guilty to a reduced homicide charge in the 2009 death of a man outside a Kingsport business.

The body of William R. Lynch III, 39, was discovered in the parking lot of Spa World, 2450 Memorial Blvd., about 12:30 a.m. on Sept. 7, 2009. Police, initially called to the scene on a report of shots fired, determined Lynch appeared to have been run over by a vehicle.

A two-year investigation culminated in the arrest of Larry Wayne Hutchins, then 28, of 287 Hialeah Drive, on a charge of reckless homicide, a Class D felony, in September 2011. Hutchins, now 29, resolved his case Thursday by entering an Alford, or best-interest, plea of guilty to a lesser offense of criminally negligent homicide in Sullivan County Criminal Court in exchange for a two-year prison sentence — the maximum allowed on a Class E felony.

According to police and Sullivan County Assistant District Attorney Amy Hinkle, Hutchins and Lynch were among a group of individuals who met in the Spa World parking lot that day to hash out a dispute.

One of the witnesses fired a gun during the ensuing confrontation, with investigators advising the man claimed he acted in self-defense, having felt threatened at the time.

Hinkle advised Hutchins admitted driving to the location where the confrontation occurred, but he never admitted to being in the driver seat of the car when Lynch was run over.

Hutchins will be eligible for parole consideration after service of 30 percent of his sentence.

Police advised no one else has been charged in connection with the 2009 incident.

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