Area man sentenced for 2nd-degree murder

By The Mercury

A former Fort Riley soldier was sentenced to almost 10 years in prison Tuesday for his role in the death of a Manhattan man after the ex-soldier’s failed suicide attempt in April.

Gary Nelson, 22, Junction City was sentenced in Geary County Court to 117 months in prison for second-degree murder.

The charges stem from his part in the death of 53-year-old Jake Black, who died after Nelson was driving west in the eastbound traffic lanes on Interstate 70 with the intention of killing himself but reportedly lost his nerve.

Nelson’s vehicle was being pursued by law enforcement officers when a 2002 GMC Envoy swerved to avoid Nelson and rolled down an embankment.

The wreck killed Black, who was a passenger in the Envoy, and injured the driver and a third person in the vehicle.

Nelson pleaded no contest in September to charges of second-degree murder and reckless driving.

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