A Newton County judge has sentenced a Neosho man to three years in prison for leaving the scene of a 2015 traffic accident that killed a 19-year-old man.

The Joplin Globe reports that Circuit Judge Tim Perigo sentenced 62-year-old Oren R. Rinehart on Tuesday. A jury recommended the prison term after finding Rinehart guilty in the hit-and-run case in November.

Neosho police found the body of Matthew Stevens in the roadway around 1 a.m. on Sept. 12, 2015. An autopsy determined his injuries were a result of having been struck from behind.

Five days later, a Neosho attorney contacted the prosecutor's office saying he had a client who believed he may have been responsible for the accident. Rinehart was arrested at a meeting with an assistant prosecutor and police.


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