April Dawn Hawkins, 36, was initially thought to have died from complications related to medical procedure

SPOTLIGHT PHOTO: COURTNEY VAUGHN - Kevin Lea Hawkins (left) appears in court Friday, March 16, alongside his attorneys in Columbia Circuit Court. Hawkins pleaded guilty to criminally negligent homicide for the 2014 death of his wife.A St. Helens man pleaded guilty Friday to criminally negligent homicide for taking part in his wife's overdose death in 2014.

Kevin Lea Hawkins, 51, appeared in Columbia Circuit Court Friday morning, March 16, after accepting a plea deal in a murder case.

Hawkins was arrested April 7, 2016 by St. Helens Police officers after an investigation into the suspicious death of his wife, April Dawn Hawkins, 36.

Police responded to the report of a death in the 100 block of Thomas Park Court in St. Helens on Nov. 9, 2014. Police say family members found April Hawkins dead in her home. At the time, it was believed she had suffered serious complications from a recent medical procedure, the SHPD noted in a news release in 2016. Toxicology reports later revealed an "intentional overdose" killed April Hawkins.

The late woman's husband was arrested nearly two years later and charged with murder. He was later released and has since been living at the Scappoose Bay Marina RV Park, away from the home where he and his family previously lived, court records show.

The charge against Kevin Hawkins was later reduced to negligent homicide.

In court Friday, the defendant appeared alongside his attorneys, out of custody.

Circuit Judge Ted Grove read the terms of the plea agreement and indictment.

"You were responsible for providing her some medication that was determined to have ended her life," Grove read aloud to the defendant. "That medication, I don't believe was her medication."

"No, it was not," Mr. Hawkins replied.

Further details of the case have yet to be released, pending a sentencing hearing next month.

Hawkins is due back in court April 17 for sentencing and arrest.

Sentencing guidelines indicate he could serve a 75-month sentence, followed by three years of post-prison supervision.

This story has been updated to more accurately reflect the nature of Hawkins' involvement in the crime.

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