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Plea entered in fatal accident





An Ellis County man pleaded no contest Thursday in Ellis County District Court to two misdemeanor charges stemming from a fatality accident a year ago.

Scott J. Pfannenstiel, 33, pleaded no contest to reduced charges of driving under the influence and circumvention of an ignition interlock.

Magistrate Judge Richard Flax sentenced Pfannenstiel to six month's probation on each count. He was fined $1,500 on the DUI conviction, his second, and $500 on the interlock charge.

Pfannenstiel is scheduled to serve 48 hours in jail and serve the remainder of the sentence under work release while on house arrest.

He initially was charged with felony involuntary manslaughter.

He was critically injured in an Oct. 15, 2011, accident in the 200 block of Hopewell Road. Pfannenstiel and 25-year-old Dustin J. Steinert, Hays, were thrown from the vehicle.

Steinert was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident.

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In an unrelated case, a Rice Lake, Wis., man was sentenced Monday to two year's community corrections on a pair of charges.

In September, Steven Wright, 22, pleaded no contest to charges of attempted criminal use of explosives and possession of methamphetamine.

Wright in August was pulled over by Hays Police on a routine traffic stop, and police found an improvised explosive device on the front seat of his vehicle.

The device, created from a disassembled aerial fireworks display, had been intended as a prank.

Community corrections is expected to see if his probation can be transferred to Wisconsin, Wright's home state.