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Dubuque man pleads in 2011 fatal crash
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DUBUQUE — The second of three trials in connection with a fatal December 2011 car crash ended before it began Monday.

Earl J. Hiland III, 42, Dubuque, gave an Alford plea to charges of leaving the scene of a fatal accident, and solicitation to commit accessory after the fact.

An Alford plea does not admit guilt, but admits that the prosecution has sufficient evidence to convict the defendant of the charge.

Hiland will be sentenced May 13 at 9 a.m. The plea agreement includes a recommendation of a five-year prison sentence for the leaving-the-scene charge and a two-year sentence on the solicitation charge, to run consecutively.

Hiland originally was charged with leaving the scene of a fatal accident, failure to provide information or aid, leaving the scene of a serious injury accident, and driving while revocation. The trial was supposed to begin Monday.

The plea agreement dismisses the habitual-offender enhancer and dismisses the driving while revocation charge.

The charges are in connection with a crash on U.S. 52 near Sherrill, Iowa, that killed Casey Craugh, 28, Hazel Green, on Dec. 27, 2011.

Denise R. Deckert, 40, Dubuque, was found guilty of being an accessory after the fact and preventing apprehension or obstructing prosecution after a trial in November. Deckert filed a motion for a new trial.

Tamra L. Schuckert, of Bellevue, Iowa, will be sentenced at a future date. Schuckert faces a charge of providing false information.