Starling family won’t object to plea deal

Published 4:54 pm Monday, June 8, 2020

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The family didn’t object to the plea deal taken by a man charged in the boating accident that killed Kelsey Starling last July Fourth.

Nick Bowling Suggs, 51, received a six-month suspended sentence and will serve six months of unsupervised probation for negligent operation of a water vessel, according to an order filed Friday by a Winston County judge.

Suggs and his wife Jodi Wallace Suggs, 51, were criminally charged in the 2019 crash that killed Starling, 26, and injured five other people. The Suggs›s boat collided with the boat Starling was riding on at Smith Lake near Cullman.

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A letter from Starling’s father, Alton Starling, to Winston County District Attorney Scott Slatton was included in court documents.

“I have been made aware of the plea proposal made to you,” Alton Starling stated. “Please know that should you accept the plea proposal, my family has no objection and will offer no criticism of the plea, either publicly or privately.”

Starling declined additional comment on Monday, referring questions to his attorney.

Charges against Jodi Suggs were dismissed as a result of her husband’s plea agreement. William Jackson Fite, the driver of the boat carrying Starling, pleaded guilty last year to boating under the influence.

Nick Suggs will pay court costs, a $25 victim’s assessment fee, $150 bail bond fee and $2,100 fine under the terms of the plea deal, the Daily reported.

He also waived his right to appeal.

It took crews more than three months to locate Starling’s body, partly because an underwater forest hampered the search.