A Waverly man learned his fate 23 months to the day after he had accidentally but fatally ran over another man in 2019.

Michael Gregg Yeatman Jr., 25, received a deferred sentence Nov. 15 in Bremer County District Court with a three-to-five-year probation after pleading guilty on Sept. 17 to leaving the scene of an accident that resulted in death, a Class D felony.

Dave Schmalz, 56, of Waverly, was hit on Dec. 15, 2019, and then died 11 days later.

According to the complaint, Yeatman told police five days after the accident that he didn’t see Schmalz lying on the street in the 300 block of Second Street Southeast sometime after 1 a.m. In a Dec. 31, 2019, report in Waverly Newspapers, Waverly Police Chief Rich Pursell said Yeatman stopped his 1997 GMC truck, and his passenger called 911 and remained next to Schmalz. However, Yeatman left the scene before authorities arrived.

Schmalz was airlifted to University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, where he eventually passed away.

Yeatman was initially charged with leaving the scene of a personal injury accident, a serious misdemeanor, but the charge was upgraded upon Schmalz’s death. A trial was originally scheduled for April 2, 2020, but the COVID-19 pandemic and numerous other factors delayed proceedings 13 times before Yeatman filed his guilty plea.

In the case file, the court had received six letters on behalf of the defendant, including from Wartburg College head men’s wrestling coach Eric Keller, three former teammates, a former employer and his parents.

Following the accident, the community rallied around Schmalz holding benefit events to raise money for his medical bills which eventually was applied to funeral expenses, according to reports. Schmalz’s boss, Tyson Beach, established a fund at then-First National Bank to help with those costs.

According to court records, Yeatman’s attorney, Kevin Engels, of Cedar Falls, had filed a statement for restitution advising that the defendant’s insurance company had paid Schmalz’s estate $50,000, which is the limit his automobile policy would pay out for injuries sustained in an accident.

In granting the deferral, Judge Christopher Foy ordered that Yeatman pay a $750 civil penalty along with any further restitution, attorney’s fees and $180 in court costs.

The maximum penalty for a Class D felony is up to five years in prison and up to a $7,500 fine plus surcharges.