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Kenneth "Pete" Cooper

Athens businessman Kenneth “Pete” Cooper pled guilty Monday to two counts of intoxication assault in Judge Mark Calhoon’s 3rd District Court.

Calhoon is scheduled to sentence Cooper on June 15.

Cooper is part owner of Cooper Funeral Home in Athens.

On March 23, 2008, Cooper was driving a 2002 Chevrolet Suburban that collided on State Highway 31 with a 1996 Plymouth Voyager van driven by 40-year-old Christy Arlien Adams of Murchison.

Cooper, Adams and Franklin Pinkerton — a passenger in Adams’ vehicle — were all injured.

Cooper and Adams had to be taken to East Texas Medical Center Athens.

Police said Cooper’s blood alcohol level was .26 at the time of the wreck — more than three times the legal limit in Texas.

If Cooper had been found guilty at trial, he could have faced a prison sentence of two to 10 years and a fine of up to $10,000.

Cooper’s guilty plea will be taken into consideration when Calhoon sentences him this summer.

Since the plea did not involve a plea bargain for any specific punishment, Cooper could get probation, or he could still get up to 10 years in the penitentiary for each count.

Cooper’s defense attorney is Robert Perkins of Tyler. An attempt to reach Perkins for comment late Wednesday was not successful. District Attorney Scott McKee also could not be reached for comment.

A civil suit has also been filed by Adams in connection to the case. The suit alleges the 2002 Chevrolet Suburban Cooper was driving was registered to Cooper Funeral Home.

Thus, Cooper, Cooper Funeral Home, two partners in the funeral home and the Malakoff bar and club Coal Miners are all being sued for damages Adams incurred.

The file does not state how much money Adams is seeking.

No trial date has been set.

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