A man accused of running over a woman after an argument in the parking lot of a Lacy Lakeview bar was sentenced to 20 years in prison Monday.

Scottie Wayne Spencer, 28, of Lincoln, Texas, pleaded guilty to intoxication manslaughter in the death of 49-year-old Anita Baker in the parking lot of the Spur bar in October 2015.

Spencer, who is severely hearing impaired and who had trouble understanding 19th State District Judge Ralph Strother during the brief hearing, had been indicted on a murder charge and faced up to life in prison in the woman’s death.

However, prosecutors dismissed the murder count and allowed Spencer to plead guilty to the second-degree felony second count of the indictment in a plea bargain with the district attorney’s office.

The plea agreement took some of Baker’s friends by surprise, including two friends who gave victim-impact statements and a third who said he came within inches of also being killed that night.

Boone Barnett told the court that Spencer should have been charged with murder and three counts of attempted murder and should be going to prison for life, not 20 years. He said he was standing near Baker when Spencer’s truck slid recklessly through the parking lot, narrowly missing Barnett by “a couple of inches.”

“We can’t get her back,” he said. “We lost that life and we miss her every day.”

Barnett’s wife, Kristy, who also was in the parking lot when Baker was killed, said she was “an amazing woman who loved endlessly.”

“I still have nightmares of that night every time I go to bed and every time I pass by where she was killed,” she said.

Spencer was arrested on a intoxication manslaughter charge after the incident. A McLennan County grand jury indicted him on a murder charge, on grounds that he committed an act clearly dangerous to human life. A second count charged him with intoxication manslaughter.

Witnesses told police Spencer was leaving the bar at 926 S. Lacy Drive around 2 a.m. with others when he and several other people got into an argument in the parking lot.

According to court records, Baker’s husband, Charles Baker, told police Spencer drove up in a green pickup truck and started screaming at his wife. Charles Baker said he walked over to the truck and asked Spencer what was going on.

Spencer told Charles Baker he was going to kill him, according to court records. Spencer put the truck in reverse and backed toward the Bakers, who were standing near a black Chevrolet, reports state.

Charles Baker said Spencer accelerated toward him and his wife. He told police he was able to jump out of the way of the speeding truck but his wife was pinned between the vehicles.

Spencer’s truck began sliding sideways toward the black Chevrolet, and the passenger side of Spencer’s truck struck the passenger side of the black vehicle, crushing Anita Baker, who was standing by the black vehicle, according to reports.

Another man also was struck by Spencer’s truck but was not injured seriously.

After striking Anita Baker with his truck, Spencer sped away from the parking lot but returned shortly and pulled up near a group of people who were trying to help Baker.

Several from the crowd pulled Spencer from his truck, beat him and held him until police arrived, according to police reports.

Russ Hunt, Spencer’s attorney, called the incident a “real tragic situation.”

“There are truly no winners because Scott did not intend to harm that lady,” Hunt said. “What happened was that the back end of his car broke loose and the lady was killed. He didn’t mean to harm a hair on that lady’s head. He feels terrible about it. We all do. There are no winners here.”

Hunt said Spencer left the scene and came back because he thought there was something wrong with his truck. He said Spencer can’t remember anything about the incident because of the beating he took at the hands of those in the parking lot.

Staff writer at the Waco Tribune-Herald covering courts and criminal justice. Follow me on Twitter @TSpoonFeed.

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