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Keith Ragin

Keith Ragin

A 37-year-old Orangeburg man will spend the next seven years in prison after pleading guilty Monday to reckless homicide and unlawful conduct toward a child.

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Keith Alexandra Ragin, of 147 Lowman St., pleaded guilty before Circuit Judge Ed Dickson.

The S.C. Highway Patrol arrested Ragin this past February after they completed an investigation of a fatal vehicle accident from Dec. 8, 2018.

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That accident claimed the life of 7-year-old Kavontea Devon Shuler and injured Ragin’s 10-year-old son.

Deputy Solicitor Tommy Scott said Ragin was operating a 2006 Pontiac traveling on U.S. 301 toward Orangeburg from Bamberg around 9:45 p.m. on Dec. 8, 2018.

Shuler and Ragin’s son were sitting in the front passenger’s seat together and wearing a seat belt, Scott said.

Scott said it had been raining in the area before Ragin lost control of the Pontiac, which overturned in a ditch near Frolic Meadows Lane.

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He said Orangeburg County EMS transported the occupants to the Regional Medical Center.

Within hours, Shuler died.

Initially, it appeared he had a broken shoulder, Scott said.

By 2 a.m. on Dec. 9, Shuler succumbed to his injuries.

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Scott said an autopsy revealed Shuler died of blunt force trauma to his abdomen due to the vehicle crash.

He said Ragin maintained that he’d been driving between 65 to 75 mph, however, the computer in the Pontiac showed Ragin was traveling “over 90 mph two seconds before impact.”

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Contact the writer: mbrown@timesanddemocrat.com or 803-533-5545. Follow on Twitter: @MRBrownTandD

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