Woman Enters Plea for Leaving Accident Scene

A 30-year-old Oklahoma woman has received a one-year deferred prison sentence after pleading guilty to leaving the scene of a traffic accident that claimed the life of Toby Keith’s father, Hubert Covel. Jeannie Sparlin, sentenced to unsupervised probation and 100 hours of community service, was also ordered to pay more than $1,000 in fines and court costs. Prosecutors emphasized that Sparlin’s guilty plea does not mean that she caused for the accident or is responsible for Covel’s death. Because of Covel’s medical history, family members initially assumed that he had a heart attack while driving on I-35 near Norman, Okla., on March 25, 2001. No autopsy was performed. Sparlin admitted hitting Covel’s truck, which crossed the median and struck a bus. Sparlin, a single mother of a 6-year-old daughter, faced a maximum sentence of 10 years imprisonment. 11/14/02