Man accused of killing brother-in-law pleads guilty to manslaughter

Robert Eugene Hastings (Lauderdale County Detention Center)
Robert Eugene Hastings (Lauderdale County Detention Center)
Published: Oct. 17, 2022 at 6:14 PM CDT
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LAUDERDALE Co., Ala. (WAFF) - A man who was accused of killing his brother-in-law in 2017 pleaded guilty to manslaughter on Monday.

Robert Hastings was arrested after 29-year-old Kyle Merriner was found dead inside his car in a cornfield off of County Road 41.

Merriner’s wife reported him missing and said that her brother, Hastings, needed to go with him to make a drug deal. When Hastings had called to ask his sister to pick him up she did not see Merriner. When asked about Merinner, Hastings said the drug deal went wrong.

After Hastings was dropped off by his sister at the Lion’s Den in Florence, officers kept a watch over him while others were looking for Merriner. During that time Hastings attempted to call a woman in Huntsville to come pick him up but officers intercepted the call.

Multiple Lauderdale County officials planned to come out of the apartment with another man that night.

According to Lauderdale County District Attorney Chris Connolly, Hastings pleaded guilty to manslaughter and he received a life sentence with the possibility of parole. Previous convictions made Hastings eligible for the sentence.

The victim’s family was in court and agreed to the plea deal.