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Sentencing delayed for driver who struck, killed teacher in 2008

Brandon Wise charged in Columbia County case on Mullikin Road

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A hearing to sentence an Evans man who struck and killed a kindergarten teacher walking beside a highway in 2008 has been postponed.

Brandon Len Wise, 27, will not be sentenced at the hearing originally scheduled for this morning in Columbia County, Assistant District Attorney Anthony Nicastro said.

Wise was charged with second-degree vehicular homicide, traveling too fast for conditions and improper windshield tint, all misdemeanors. A plea agreement had been expected to be worked out before the hearing.

Wise was driving a Ford Expedition south on Mullikin Road July 16, 2008, when it struck Christian Giles, 24, who was walking with her husband and dogs.

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Asitisinaug
3
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Asitisinaug 10/05/10 - 08:06 pm
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As a very strong believer in

As a very strong believer in personal responsibility, personal accountability, etc. and supporter of law enforcement, we as a society must not fail to remember that some things are simply tragic accidents and focus on how to solve them in the future. People should not be walking or biking in roadways, they are meant for vehicles. Simply going a few miles over the posted speed and accidently hitting someone in the roadway can happen to any of us at any time and not only does this person have to live with this for the rest of his/her life, they are now considered a criminal often times doing more time than those who break the law with intent through burglaries, robberies, etc. Our justice system needs a lot of reform and this area needs to be looked at closely. The government is just as much to blame by allowing bikers and pedestrians to walk & ride in roadways that are extremely dangerous with blind curbs, etc. I know we can't afford bike paths and walking paths everywhere but at the very least we need them around schools and high volume walking/riding areas. From there, the laws should be changed to prevent pedestrians walking along roadways (except neighborhoods) and to keep the bikes of off the roads as well. Go to parks, bike path areas, etc. but don't place yourself in harm’s way. This is a terrible tragedy and our area lost a great teacher but she was lost to an accident.

storiesihaveread
358
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storiesihaveread 10/05/10 - 05:51 pm
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I agree Asitis

I agree Asitis

Fiat_Lux
15111
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Fiat_Lux 10/05/10 - 06:03 pm
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Well, there we have it,

Well, there we have it, folks. No need for a judge to hand out a sentence. Driving too fast and not having a windshield that's clear enough for adequate vision both qualify as nothing but pure chance.

Thanks, Asitisinaug, for clearing all this up for us.

(So, does that now mean that if someone tragically, accidentally gets killed while I rob a bank that I won't be charged with murder?)

Riverman1
82400
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Riverman1 10/05/10 - 06:32 pm
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I agree with Asitisinaug, but

I agree with Asitisinaug, but it is tragic, we all agree.

Fiat_Lux, the difference is robbing a bank is a felony.

Here's something else that bothers me about this accident. Did the shoulder of the road appear to be conducive to safe walking? If walkers were using it, apparently the walkers and drivers all thought vehicles could safely pass. Was there some kind of flaw in the design or thinking?

Batman
18
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Batman 10/05/10 - 06:41 pm
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I agree with Asitisinaug. I

I agree with Asitisinaug. I leave my neighborhood every night to walk at the government complex in Evans. It's not worth it to walk on roads that are intended for automobiles. It makes no sense to put myself nor the drivers at risk. People who walk or bike along busy roadways should accept the risk and responsibility. Let this young man pay his fines for his misdemeanors and we all learn a valuable lesson.

Fiat_Lux
15111
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Fiat_Lux 10/05/10 - 06:59 pm
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River, it wasn't a perfect

River, it wasn't a perfect analogy, obviously. And the kid isn't being charged with 1st degree murder (though there isn't that in Georgia) either. Not even with 1st degree vehicular homicide.

He's been charged with anything at all because he hit someone accidentally while breaking the law, specifically by driving too fast for conditions and by having a windshield tinted too dark according current legal limits.

Who knows; perhaps Christian Giles would still be with us and her family today if he hadn't crossed those legal boundaries.

Rainbow Johnson
0
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Rainbow Johnson 10/05/10 - 07:03 pm
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I do not know the entire

I do not know the entire details of this case, nor either of the unfortunate souls involved. I do think there are repercussions when you disobey traffic laws and it seems that this will at least be addressed when sentencing is done.

One life is lost and a young adult driver will have to live with himself and whatever consequences. Mentally, I'm sure it's a lifetime sentence. The sentencing should reflect the severity of the offense while at the same time tempering it with the realization that it was an accident. There were no charges filed for recklessness. Traveling too fast for conditions is a very umbiquous charge which is normally applied even if the posted speed limits were being adhered to, acknowledging that perhaps there may have been conditions in place that would logically direct a driver to drive slower.
No winners here.
My regrets to the family for their loss

pommom38
1496
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pommom38 10/05/10 - 07:07 pm
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Just pure typical posts. Just

Just pure typical posts.
Just as in the cyclist accident, blame is laid at the victims feet. So sickening.
Everyone remember, NO cycling, NO walking, NO anything on the road OR the side of the road unless you're in a vehicle! Anything else, you ask for it. And don't remove my comment, because that is exactly what all these posters are saying on both threads!

troylus
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troylus 10/05/10 - 07:22 pm
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I have to agree with pomom38

I have to agree with pomom38 and fiat_lux. I don't understand why the other posters agree it is ok for someone to break the law simply because he is in a car. I guess they are just projecting, since most of us drivers frequently break the law every day.

Too fast for conditions describes any condition (even changing light conditions) where most drivers abandon GOOD judgment in favor of personal convenience. Any attempt to ameliorate the results is just blather.

Asitisinaug
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Asitisinaug 10/05/10 - 08:16 pm
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No one is saying "you asked

No one is saying "you asked for it" or that anyone asked for it or that all of the blame goes to the cyclist or walker. What many are saying and most logical thinking individuals can agree that walking or riding bikes on roadways BUILT FOR VEHICLES will result in more tragic accidents. Most of our roadways in this area have very limited shoulders if they have any shoulder at all so you are walking or riding in the path of a vehicle, designed for a vehicle and meant for persons traveling in vehicles.

This is a terrible tragedy but it happens over and over again with bad results for both victims, even those obeying the law but failing to see the person or bike in time. I personally believe the laws need to be changed to keep persons and bikes off of roadways outside of neighborhoods except for proper crossing from one side to the other. Build sidewalks or bike baths, etc. as needed.

Fiax_Laux, your analogy has NOTHING to do with my previous post. The fact that our laws need to be reviewed, discussed and reformed is by no means saying that this case should be ignored by our courts and I never said anything of the such. Under current law, the charge is applicable but I personally believe it shouldn’t even come to this. Window tent (on most vehicles now days and not even illegal in all states) and driving too fast for conditions (very subjective) are both misdemeanor contributing factors in this case but so is walking in a roadway with tall grass on the side, no shoulder to the road, no streetlights and this road happens to have plenty of blind curbs as do many other roads. Your comparison of committing a felony and accidently killing someone while robbing a bank is just too ridiculous to warrant further comment but I assume you were just trying to use sarcasm to make a point. As for speculation and "who knows" - well, we do know that if pedestrians would use areas meant for walking and bikes would use areas meant for biking that they would not be killed on roadways meant for vehicles.

Christian was a wonderful person and it is terrible her life was cut short by something she probably didn't even consider dangerous. Under current law, the vehicle's driver would solely be at fault but again in my opinion that law needs to be changed so as to save lives in the future. Far more positive can come from this tragic accident by making positive changes in our laws and in providing areas for bikes and pedestrians. I don’t believe it is our goal to incarcerate Americans without willful intent and yet in many cases such as this across America that is what happens due to the high emotions of the situation and nothing is ever done to help prevent situations such as this in the future without the few exceptions of knee jerk reactions such as sidewalks in the immediate areas of where accidents such as this occur.

Fiat_Lux
15111
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Fiat_Lux 10/05/10 - 07:45 pm
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Uh, Asit, huge blocks of

Uh, Asit, huge blocks of unbroken, single-spaced text is not fun to deal with. Give us a break and use some carriage returns. Spaces between paragraphs really eases the pain of reading your response.

Fiat_Lux
15111
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Fiat_Lux 10/05/10 - 07:46 pm
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Sorry, Asit, while true about

Sorry, Asit, while true about blocks of text, that was bad. Apologies.

dougk
3
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dougk 10/05/10 - 09:05 pm
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If anything is to blame, it
Unpublished

If anything is to blame, it MAY BE the lack of shoulders on the roadway in these parts as Asit points out. It is dangerous. There was no attention paid to pedestrians in the engineering....even Washington Road.
This is a horrible tragedy for all involved...and I , too, have come close to being the "offender" on more than one occasion....and I drive like a grandpa just like I am.

OhWell
326
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OhWell 10/05/10 - 07:55 pm
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Why was sentencing delayed?

Why was sentencing delayed? Surely 2 years is enough time to settle this charge so both the victim and Mr. Giles can get on with there lives. I thought there was a statue of limitations on misdomenor (spelled so wrong) charges.

Asitisinaug
3
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Asitisinaug 10/05/10 - 08:17 pm
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No Problem, I agree actually

No Problem, I agree actually and the changes were made per your request.

As for the delay again, I agree, 2 years is long enough to have this case completed.

pommom38
1496
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pommom38 10/05/10 - 08:48 pm
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I never mean any offense in

I never mean any offense in my comments left, just reading post after post where it's clearly laying blame on the *victim* disheartens me to no end!! I 200% agree Doug, there are hardly ANY shoulders on the road.
These comments are beyond mild compared to the other thread. But my stance still is watch out, pay attention, and be courteous to others!!
What about people who HAVE to walk? HAVE to cycle? Not everyone owns a car or has means to get one! What are they to do?

Willow Bailey
20580
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Willow Bailey 10/05/10 - 10:02 pm
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There are actually some

There are actually some sidewalks on this road where the accident took place; don't recall if they are on both sides or not. This is an area where Riverside Middle School is located and children walk to school from several different neighborhoods. There is also a reduced speed limit.

speedy6492
30
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speedy6492 10/05/10 - 10:35 pm
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While operating a motor

While operating a motor vehicle, pay attention, get off the cell phone, quit texting and share the road!! Enough said!!

Asitisinaug
3
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Asitisinaug 10/06/10 - 12:48 am
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Pommom38, I certainly

Pommom38, I certainly understand where you are coming from and agree it is bad for those who need to ride bikes, need to walk, etc. that is why changes are needed, especially when building roads. However, these individuals MUST understand they are taking on an additional risk by doing so and are contributing factors to accidents.

Willow Bailey, sidewalks were petitioned and granted AFTER this accident and the speed limits were reduced. Both actions by elected officials show that there was clearly a need for these actions prior to the accident and therefore were also contributing factors to this accident. Reactionary solutions to known problems that exsist never really solve the problem in the long run. Further discussion, study, and action is needed on this matter. If bikes and pedestrians are allowed to legally share the road then road design needs to be changed to reduce personal tragedies such as this.

Little Lamb
45313
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Little Lamb 10/06/10 - 05:04 pm
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Riverman wrote: Did the

Riverman wrote:

Did the shoulder of the road appear to be conducive to safe walking?

People said that the bahaia grass was tall and had those two finger thingies with the black seeds in them and that Ms. Giles didn't want to get the black seeds on her legs. That's why she was walking in the street.

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