Billy Ray Hankins (mug shot GCSO)

A career criminal has been sentenced to 10 years in prison after pleading guilty to involuntary manslaughter for the death of his wife's former boyfriend last year.

Billy R. Hankins, 57, of Springfield, was originally charged with second-degree murder but pleaded guilty to the amended charge as a prior and persistent offender yesterday (09-12-11), according to a news release from the Greene County Prosecuting Attorney’s office.

Prosecutors say Hankins attempted to run over several people in June of 2010 before he backed his truck over forty four year-old Charles Loftis near Harrison and Laurel. Loftis died from his injuries about two weeks after he was critically injured.

Court records indicate that several men went to confront Hankins for beating his wife. When authorities arrived, Hankins had already fled and a police dog was called in to track him. He was found hiding in some bushes not far from the scene of the assault.