CHATSWORTH — A Chatsworth man admitted Thursday in Superior Court to running over a 2-year-old with his vehicle last June, killing her, then cutting Sheriff Howard Ensley with a knife.

Paul Lamar Burch, 37, of 1151 Old Federal Road, pleaded guilty to homicide by vehicle in the first degree, DUI, and three counts of aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer. He was sentenced to eight years in prison on the homicide by vehicle charge. He was sentenced to 20 years probation on each of the aggravated assault charges to run concurrent with each other and the homicide by vehicle charge. State law requires the DUI charge to merge with the homicide by vehicle charge for sentencing.

Burch was visiting Megan Jae Gunter’s family’s house at 1015 Highway 52 last June.

“There were several children at the residence there,” said District Attorney Kermit McManus. “Burch was leaving with two other people in his vehicle (a 2005 Chevrolet Tahoe). She was in front of it and died as a result.”

When law enforcement officials asked for a blood sample, which is standard in such cases, Burch “became brandish with them,” McManus said.

According to the incident report, Burch pulled a knife and began saying he was taking methadone, which is commonly used to treat drug addicts.

One of the law enforcement officials picked up a garden hoe to keep Burch away but Burch was able to take it away and use it against the officials, McManus said. Ensley received a cut on his hand.

“There were no serious injuries on the law enforcement officers,” McManus said.

Burch tested positive for methamphetamine, amphetamine — commonly referred to as “speed” — and trazodone, used to treat depression, at the time of the incident, McManus said.

As part of Burch’s probation, he must pay a $2,000 fine, court costs and surcharges; complete 200 hours of community service; attend alcohol and drug counseling; and submit to random drug screenings.

Burch had another charge as a habitual violator because of an aggravated assault case in Whitfield County that he served time for, the indictment states. That charge was dismissed Thursday.

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