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Man gets 10 years for crash that injured infant

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An Augusta man whose blood-alcohol level was more than twice the legal limit when he was involved in a traffic crash that left a baby seriously injured was sentenced to 10 years in prison Tuesday.

Dexter J. Thomas, 53, pleaded guilty in Richmond County Superior Court to serious injury by vehicle and driving with excessive blood alcohol concentration. His blood alcohol level was .213; in Georgia a driver is presumed to be intoxicated at .08.

Mr. Thomas apologized repeatedly to Tiasha Houston, the young mother who described her son's life since Mr. Thomas rear-ended her vehicle June 7 on Meadowbrook Drive.

Kadin was a healthy, 3-month-old until the accident left him with skull fractures and a broken leg, Ms. Houston said. He was in a coma for days, and he still suffers from seizures that require hospitalization, she said. He has to endure series of weekly medical tests, and doctors cannot say whether the damage will be permanent.

"It's just been real hard," Ms. Houston said.

Assistant District Attorney Rex Myers said Mr. Thomas' criminal record included a conviction for driving under the influence from 1986 and a couple of violations for driving on a revoked license. Mr. Thomas had no other DUI convictions, however.

Mr. Thomas said Tuesday he wished he was the one who was so severely injured that day.

That's partly the reason DUI cases are so tragic, said Judge Michael N. Annis. Mr. Thomas intentionally drank and drove a vehicle without intending to cause harm. But the crash was Mr. Thomas' fault because he recklessly disregarded possible consequences, the judge said.

Judge Annis also imposed a five-year probation sentence to be completed once the prison term concludes. While Mr. Thomas is on probation, he must pay $80,000 in restitution for the baby's medical bills that have accumulated so far. He must also perform 500 hours of community service by working with disabled children.

Reach Sandy Hodson at (706) 823-3226 or sandy.hodson@augustachronicle.com.

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nonumberplease
0
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nonumberplease 12/09/09 - 04:54 am
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Where was this judge when a

Where was this judge when a teenager was fatally injured early
one morning on riverwatch pkwy by a doctor that had been drinking awas on some kind of medication. The doctor was on the wrong side of the road that is divided but his test results
were "lost" mysterically. Bull butter, he walked and that's the
legal system we have in Augusta.

johnston.cliff
2
Points
johnston.cliff 12/09/09 - 05:30 am
0
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He had a previous conviction

He had a previous conviction in '86, but none since? What does that mean? Occasional drunk driving is okay? especially if you don't get caught? That's insane. Drunk driving is akin to standing on a street corner and firing a gun at random with your eyes closed. You probably won't hit anyone, but everyone you do hit is totally innocent. The only solution, one DUI means loss of any chance of ever having a license or vehicle insurance again. Being stopped while driving again would mean inclusion in the body parts salvage program. Drunk driving isn't a game and isn't funny.

scoobynews
3854
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scoobynews 12/09/09 - 07:39 am
0
0
This kind of stuff just

This kind of stuff just angers me! This poor child will have to suffer because of this creep. There are way too many people out there who are a danger to those of us who do not drink or use drugs. You get caught drinking and driving you can bet that they will be caught again. Have these people never heard of DDs. I think the places that sell this junk should be liable too especially if they are drinking at a bar and are obviously too drunk to drive. How do you let someone walk out like that?

deekster
24
Points
deekster 12/09/09 - 08:40 am
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Alcohol Abuse is a "sacred

Alcohol Abuse is a "sacred cow" because politician and the wealthiest of our society love their booze. It is the "legal drug" of choice. How can we say don't drink and drive, when the booze sales are stationed at the gas pump. Ludicrous.

corgimom
32502
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corgimom 12/09/09 - 08:46 am
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"Mr. Thomas said Tuesday he

"Mr. Thomas said Tuesday he wished he was the one who was so severely injured that day." ME TOO.

corgimom
32502
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corgimom 12/09/09 - 09:28 am
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Cliff- people that drive

Cliff- people that drive drunk don't care about their licenses or insurance in the first place. It's all about THEM. Revoking licenses and insurance doesn't stop them for one minute.

my.voice
4824
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my.voice 12/09/09 - 09:58 am
0
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But they let the guy who flew

But they let the guy who flew his sports car into a home and killed an old man office with probation?

justus4
101
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justus4 12/09/09 - 10:43 am
0
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This guy must be U know what,
Unpublished

This guy must be U know what, and recieved a sentence that the ol' judge thought was correct, however, those same facts applied to a citizen who looks like the ol' judge would likely have been different. (history provides some examples) Great country, eh?

puddeecat
0
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puddeecat 12/09/09 - 12:04 pm
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0
If the child was properly

If the child was properly strapped into his car seat, how did he suffer a broken leg?

RIPAmerica
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RIPAmerica 12/09/09 - 12:06 pm
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JCliff? I got my DUI in 1986.

JCliff? I got my DUI in 1986. I have never operated a motor vehicle while "buzzed" or "drunk" again since. SOME people learn from mistakes.

corgimom
32502
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corgimom 12/09/09 - 12:29 pm
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His leg got twisted in the

His leg got twisted in the impact, most likely. A child seat, contrary to popular belief, doesn't stop a child from being injured; it just keeps them from becoming a human projectile.

mable8
2
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mable8 12/09/09 - 02:21 pm
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It is tragic for the infant

It is tragic for the infant and the suffering the mother goes through on a daily basis as she watches for positive healing signs. But for some who will post with reference to this article, ask how often YOU have driven while intoxicated but did not get caught or cause harm to another--and there are many out there who manage to get by. I don't drink, but that's beside the point; rather than being the pot calling the kettle black, it is time for those who do drink to consider if driving while intoxicated is worth the risk. I always told my children if you drink to have fun, you are not having fun. Whether they listen or not is their decision to make; I would hope that they would either refrain from driniking or at the very least have a designated driver (or find an alternative way to their respective homes).

johnston.cliff
2
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johnston.cliff 12/09/09 - 04:10 pm
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corgimom, see part two.

corgimom, see part two.

johnston.cliff
2
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johnston.cliff 12/09/09 - 04:12 pm
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RIPAmerica, people should

RIPAmerica, people should learn from their mistakes. How many times is drunk driving okay?

RIPAmerica
0
Points
RIPAmerica 12/09/09 - 04:53 pm
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None, cliff. What I did was

None, cliff. What I did was wrong, illegal and no way excusable. I paid my fines, did the time, suffered the increased insurance costs for years. To deny me the privelige of driving for life because of a youthful mistake is excessive. I'll agree with you with one small amendment: a SECOND DUI should indeed result in a lifetime loss of driving privileges unless injury or death results from the first. No one should ever have the opportunity for a third (or more) DUI.

corgimom
32502
Points
corgimom 12/09/09 - 07:11 pm
0
0
I never have driven drunk.

I never have driven drunk. It's not worth it. My son needed me to be his mother, not up in jail.

KadinsMom
0
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KadinsMom 01/23/10 - 07:15 pm
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Im the mother of Kadin

Im the mother of Kadin Houston. Thank you for all of yu that see that Mr.Thomas was wrong in his doings to those of you who question weather im a good parent or weather im smart enough to know how to work a carseat when someone hits u at 70mps a direct hit to the back where my sons car seat was placed pin/d between the seats you'll see that yea the carseat saved his life but it did not keep him from all harm. After he hit us there was no back seat the trunk was in its place. DUI is something that I dont do and never will. Thanks to God my son is still here and showing signs thats he's gonna make it pass what happen to him on June 7,2009. God bless you all for your comments good and bad.

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