A Columbia man pleaded guilty to manslaughter in Howard County Circuit Court last week for his involvement in a fatal auto accident last February.
Richie Junior Burgess, 42, of the 12000 block of Little Patuxent Parkway, pleaded guilty to criminal negligent manslaught by motor vehicle in an accident that resulted in the death of Mary Ann Levant, 64, a staff member at Marriotts Ridge High School, according to a state's attorney's office spokesperson.
An analysis of blood drawn from Burgess on the night of the accident by Maryland State Police found he was driving under the influence of the prescription medication Alprazolam, also known as Xanax.
According to the statement of the facts in the case, a traffic expert determined that Burgess' Ford Explorer struck Levant's car on the driver's side door and drove her vehicle into a guardrail, after the Explorer crossed a protected portion of the eastbound Route 32 ramp from Route 29.
The traffic expert concluded the collision was attributed to Burgess being under the influence of Xanax and drifiting onto the ramp where Levant was traveling, according to the court documents.
Levant remained alive for four months after the collision, before dying in June as a result of injuries from the crash, according to an Explore Howard report.
Burgess is scheduled to be sentenced on March 29, according to the state's attorney's office spokesperson.