Man sentenced in girlfriend's death

By The Associated Press

POPLARVILLE — Jerry D. Van Wagoner has been sentenced to 50 years in prison after being convicted in August on charges of kidnapping and aggravated DUI death.

Circuit Judge Prentiss G. Harrell sentenced Van Wagoner Thursday to 25 years on each of the charges, with the sentences to run consecutively.

The Hattiesburg American reports the 39-year-old Van Wagoner was found guilty on both charges on Aug. 18 by a Pearl River County jury in the April 26, 2009, death of his girlfriend, 27-year-old Crystal Brasher.

Prosecutors say Brasher was thrown from a vehicle and killed in an accident on Interstate 59. They say Van Wagner was intoxicated. He was charged with kidnapping because a tow chain was wrapped around Brasher’s legs.