HomeNewsCrime & CourtsWoman admits criminal responsibility for lake drownings last spring

Woman admits criminal responsibility for lake drownings last spring

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An Augusta woman who pushed a man off a boat in Clark’s Hill Lake without knowing if he could swim — and he could not — will spend a year in jail, a judge determined Tuesday, June 21.

Shontover Kirkland was scheduled for a bench trial in Lincoln County Superior Court but decided to plead guilty instead, admitting her responsibility for the deaths of Edward Kirk Jr., 37, and Eynn Wilson, 34, on April 25, 2021.

MORE: Woman Charged in Connection with Clarks Hill Drownings

“There were no plea agreements other than what charges Kirkland would plead to. Kirkland pled guilty to two felony counts of involuntary manslaughter based upon reckless conduct,” District Attorney Bill Doupe said via email Tuesday.

“Involuntary manslaughter is the unintended killing of another through the commission of a misdemeanor offense. In this case, we alleged reckless conduct was that misdemeanor offense. Kirkland was directly responsible for pushing Edward Kirk into the middle of a deep channel in 69-degree water not knowing whether he could swim or not.”

Augusta fathers Eynn Wilson and Edward “EJ” Kirk are pictured here

Kirk could not swim. His friend Wilson jumped into the water to try to save him but both men died.

Kirkland was sentenced to spend one year in the Lincoln County jail followed by nine years on probation, said Doupe, the district attorney for the Toombs Judicial Circuit that includes Lincoln County.

Sandy Hodson is a staff reporter covering courts for The Augusta Press. Reach her at [email protected]. 

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