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Harlem man sentenced to 22 years in fatal crash

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 A Harlem man was sentenced to prison Friday after a Columbia County jury convicted him on several charges from a fatal wreck in May 2007.

Brandon Christopher Newman, 27, received 22 years in prison after being found guilty of two counts of vehicular homicide, serious injury by vehicle, driving under the influence and reckless driving.

Newman was driving in foggy, damp conditions on Harlem-Grovetown Road early May 13 with his brother, Cameron Newman, 23, of Harlem; Mallory Jason, 19, of Martinez; and Sarah Boykin, 16, of Richmond County, when he lost control of his Dodge Quad Cab truck and hit a pine tree, police said.

The wreck killed Newman's brother and Jason. Boykin was seriously injured.

"This is a terrible tragedy," Superior Court Judge Carl Brown said. "The loss is sustained by everyone."

Newman apologized for his actions before he was sentenced.

The jury of eight women and four men deliberated for more then six hours before reaching a verdict.

The trial was Newman's second. The first, in November 2008, was declared a mistrial when the jury could not reach a unanimous decision.

Assistant District Attorney Adam King said the verdict "finally provides accountability" for Newman. He asked for the maximum sentence on behalf of the Jason family.

"I love my daughter. She was snatched away," said Jason's father, Jerry. "That was the worst day of my life."

"I know their pain," said Newman's mother, Crystal Bradford. "I lost a child that night. It is devastating."

Victor Hawk, Newman's attorney, contended that he lost control of the truck after being bumped from behind by a friend. He also claimed during the trial that blood-alcohol measurements were skewed and that an accident reconstruction was not accurate.

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bargainchic22
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bargainchic22 02/06/10 - 06:43 am
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thats messed up, accidents do

thats messed up, accidents do happen and brandon has been pay for his ever since it happened. Now his momma has lost both of her sons, that is way worse that losing one kid. That road is one scarey rd to be going to down when foggy and dark!!!

johnston.cliff
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johnston.cliff 02/06/10 - 06:54 am
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Too many are bulletproof at

Too many are bulletproof at Newman's age, or, at least they think they are. I wish the accountability and responsibility were applied more often. If it was a national attitude, most of these needless "accidents" would never take place.

whocareswhatyouthink
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whocareswhatyouthink 02/06/10 - 09:03 am
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It is about time those idiots

It is about time those idiots who think it is "cool" to drive under the influence are held accountable for their actions. I only hope this clown doesn't get parole after a few years. "Accident" my big toe. Anyone driving drunk and killing someone in the process should automatically receive the Death Penalty. (And for the record, I am a liberal with a capital "L"...)

wsm141
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wsm141 02/06/10 - 09:06 am
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Choices were made that night

Choices were made that night now everyone involved must deal with the consequences.

Wolfs Blood
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Wolfs Blood 02/06/10 - 09:08 am
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We let Child molesters Armed

We let Child molesters Armed robbers, rappest and murders off with less time. This is cruel and unusual punishment for a young man who unintentionally lost his girlfriend and brother in a terrible accident. Harlem Grovetown road was rated by readers digest as one of the most dangerous roads in Ga and it and conditions contributed to claiming 2 lives that night. As for you JohnstonI can see you to are shocked by the sentence by your picture. And would it be your family on trial, you to would call it excessive!

RoadKing09
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RoadKing09 02/06/10 - 09:26 am
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I suppose those riding with

I suppose those riding with him had no Idea he had been drinking. Why should he take the fall for their bad decisions for getting into the truck.
Evey tub sits on its own bottom!

whocareswhatyouthink
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whocareswhatyouthink 02/06/10 - 10:07 am
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Boy, it's amazing how many

Boy, it's amazing how many drunk drivers pop out of the woodwork to express their outrage at potentially being held responsible, isn't it???
Folk, when you get behind the wheel while drunk and cause a wreck, IT IS NOT AN "ACCIDENT". He killed those two people just as surely as if he had pointed a gun at their heads and pulled the trigger. Apparently some of the "Personal Responsibility" conservatives have a problem with that. I wonder why??? Too many DUI's themselves, perhaps???

corgimom
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corgimom 02/06/10 - 10:31 am
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The usual comments are on

The usual comments are on here from the family and friends about how we are so judgmental, blah blah blah. The mother lost two sons because of the selfish decision of one of them. He did it. He committed a crime, 2 people died, one person was seriously injured. It's called "personal responsibility", people. Driving drunk is NOT an accident. Nobody "accidentally" drinks.

corgimom
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corgimom 02/06/10 - 10:35 am
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When somebody smokes pot,

When somebody smokes pot, drinks, is speeding and racing on a foggy, damp, dangerous road- that's an accident? It was a near-certainty that something bad was going to happen. What was accidental about any of that?

Sargebaby
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Sargebaby 02/06/10 - 10:41 am
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Corgimom sez; "It's called

Corgimom sez; "It's called "personal responsibility", people. Driving drunk is NOT an accident. Nobody "accidentally" drinks."
________________________________________

Spot on, Corgi, spot on!

Wolfs Blood
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Wolfs Blood 02/06/10 - 10:46 am
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corgimom That is not the

corgimom That is not the correct facts. Including the smoking pot. He was bumped by the vehicle behind him, that had bald tires on that wet road. This is the only way the vehicle behind him got covered in mud on front, and both sides. If this wasn't so, the vehicle would have only had mud on passangers side! It was an accident.

Sargebaby
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Sargebaby 02/06/10 - 10:49 am
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People who drink, then drive,

People who drink, then drive, should remember that you can't un-shoot a bullet, you can't un-throw a rock, and you can't un-speak stupid comments. If you drink and drive, sooner or later, you will pay a price, more than likely, at someone elses expense. I have no mercy or pity for drinking drivers. They're accidents looking for a place to happen!

Wolfs Blood
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Wolfs Blood 02/06/10 - 10:57 am
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Sargbaby I remember you from

Sargbaby I remember you from Cadilacs when I use to drink!

veritas14
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veritas14 02/06/10 - 11:04 am
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Drinking and driving is like

Drinking and driving is like playing russian roulette. Inevitably, the hammer will fall on a loaded chamber. Like Corgi sez, it is about the choices we make and those choices all have consequences.

Sargebaby
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Sargebaby 02/06/10 - 11:05 am
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From the article; "Victor

From the article; "Victor Hawk, Newman's attorney, contended that he lost control of the truck after being bumped from behind by a friend. He also claimed during the trial that blood-alcohol measurements were skewed and that an accident reconstruction was not accurate."
________________________________

It's a defense attorney's job to delay, and find any way possible to protect his/her client. The fact that alcohol was present in the driver's blood cannot be "skewed." The analysis report is done as the test is taken. Mr. Hawk is attacking procedure, not the fact that alcohol was present in the driver's blood.

whocareswhatyouthink
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whocareswhatyouthink 02/06/10 - 11:07 am
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Sarbgbaby wrote" "I have no

Sarbgbaby wrote" "I have no mercy or pity for drinking drivers. They're accidents looking for a place to happen!"

Personally I have no problem with a Darwin Award Candidate killing him/herself in a one car wreck while driving drunk. In fact, I would almost consider it a community service since they will no longer be a menace on the road and a threat to to public.
It is when they kill or injure another person that I get upset...

Sargebaby
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Sargebaby 02/06/10 - 11:08 am
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Wolf's Blood sez; "Sargbaby I

Wolf's Blood sez; "Sargbaby I remember you from Cadilacs when I use to drink!"
______________________________________

Sorry WB, you've got me mixed up with someone else. I've never been to Cad's, and I don't drink!

storiesihaveread
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storiesihaveread 02/06/10 - 11:14 am
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I am sure if wolfs blood had

I am sure if wolfs blood had somebody close to him die due to a drunk driver I am sure he would change his mind real quick. I would be out for revenge. Eye for an eye tooth for a tooth

Sargebaby
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Sargebaby 02/06/10 - 11:17 am
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Whocareswhatyouthink sez;

Whocareswhatyouthink sez; "Personally I have no problem with a Darwin Award Candidate killing him/herself in a one car wreck while driving drunk. In fact, I would almost consider it a community service since they will no longer be a menace on the road and a threat to to public.
It is when they kill or injure another person that I get upset...
__________________________________________

And what kind of person does that make you? You don't care if they kill themselves as long as they do it to themselves. Number one, this kind of statistic raises your insurance rates. Number two, there are laws against drinking establishments allowing people to comsume too much alcohol. I would rather see enforcement of that law, rather than lives being eliminated in the manner you suggest. That was a shameful comment, Whocares! (BTW, that should be your moniker.)

Sargebaby
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Sargebaby 02/06/10 - 11:20 am
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StoriesIhaveread sez; "I

StoriesIhaveread sez; "I would be out for revenge. Eye for an eye tooth for a tooth.."
__________________________________

"Vengence is mine, sayeth the Lord!"

Wolfs Blood
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Wolfs Blood 02/06/10 - 11:22 am
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storiesihaveread The If you

storiesihaveread The If you quote the whole quote Jesus Said: Eye for an eye tooth for a tooth but I say turn the other cheek. And For your information I have lost a loved one, and as hard as it was I forgave.

CobaltGeorge
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CobaltGeorge 02/06/10 - 11:24 am
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Wolfs Blood, I do not know

Wolfs Blood, I do not know anything about you except your feelings in your post. I get the feeling you are a member of the family or a very close friend of the victims involved or you are the type person that believes that laws are not written for you. If you are a member or friend I have feelings for you and know what it is like to lose a love one or friend. I think that most of comments made by posters know that the use of alcohol or drugs is not a justification or an excuse to take someones life. I just want you to think for one moment, If there was no alcohol and drugs involved in this debate, you would see that most of the comments would have been with heart warming sympathy and sorrow and it was only be classified as an accident. I hate to think you are the person who thinks laws are not necessary.

veritas14
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veritas14 02/06/10 - 11:25 am
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Sarge sez: Number two, there

Sarge sez: Number two, there are laws against drinking establishments allowing people to comsume too much alcohol. I would rather see enforcement of that law, rather than lives being eliminated in the manner you suggest.

True Sarge, but don't ya think that even those laws are just another way for people to avoid taking responsiblity for their own actions. " Your Honor, I wouldn't have had that wreck if the Gin Mill hadn't sold me all that booze"

Sargebaby
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Sargebaby 02/06/10 - 11:26 am
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Sorry for your loss, Wolf,

Sorry for your loss, Wolf, but it takes a special person to be able to forgive something like that! You're a good man!

whocareswhatyouthink
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whocareswhatyouthink 02/06/10 - 11:31 am
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Wouldn't raise my insurance

Wouldn't raise my insurance rates..I haven't had an accident or ticket in over 25 years. What I DO have, however, is a close friend killed by a drunk diver with several prior DIU's, two of which involving accidents in why the other party,but not the drunk received injuries. If that idiot had killed himself in one of the prior wrecks (Instead of hurting some innocent bystander) my friend would still be alive.
Drunk Driving is a crime with a extremely high rate of recidivism. Dead criminals do not re-offend...
(and laws against serving drunks in a bar do not stop someone from drinking a case of beer at home and driving to the store for another one...)

Sargebaby
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Sargebaby 02/06/10 - 11:29 am
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Point was, veritas14, the

Point was, veritas14, the laws ARE NOT BEING ENFORCED! People like those who drink and drive, don't care about responsibulity.

GA DAWGS
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GA DAWGS 02/06/10 - 11:36 am
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One night, one party, one

One night, one party, one truck, one tree. So many lives forever changed in a matter of seconds. Both families lost.

veritas14
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veritas14 02/06/10 - 11:38 am
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I agree they don't care about

I agree they don't care about responsibility. So why should we pass laws that strengthen that belief? Should bars cut people off, yes. Should the laws be enforced, yes. Trouble is, by then the person is noticably impaired and is already a danger. Maybe I have just gotten real cynical in my old age, but it seems many of these laws are passed just so our elected officials can claim to be doing something without actually doing anything.

Sargebaby
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Sargebaby 02/06/10 - 11:39 am
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Whocares, everyone's

Whocares, everyone's insurance rates are affected directly by numbers of these incidents. Don't you know anything about liability rates among the states? I'm truly sorry for your loss as well, but your safe driving is only part of why your rates are fairly steady. Have an accident with you being faulted for drinking while driving , and see what happens to your rates.

We can't wish all the drivers who become criminals by drinking and driving, to die, Whocares! What we can wish for is better enforcement, and updated laws that plug loopholes on "skewed" blood alcohol tests.

whocareswhatyouthink
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whocareswhatyouthink 02/06/10 - 11:40 am
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"but don't ya think that even

"but don't ya think that even those laws are just another way for people to avoid taking responsiblity for their own actions. " Your Honor, I wouldn't have had that wreck if the Gin Mill hadn't sold me all that booze"

The primary purpose of that law is to give an attorney someone else to sue (hopefully with "Deep Pockets") if there is an "accident" involving alcohol and injuries...

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