Man gets 2 months in teacher's death

Jim Blaylock/ Staff
Brandon Wise is led from the Columbia County Courthouse after being sentenced to two months in jail for killing kindergarten teacher Christian Giles, 24, with a vehicle as she walked her dogs with her husband along Mulliken Road in 2008.
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An Evans man who struck and killed a kindergarten teacher walking along a Columbia County road in 2008 was sentenced to jail Monday.

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Brandon Wise is led from the Columbia County Courthouse after being sentenced to two months in jail for striking kindergarten teacher Christian Giles, 24, with the car he was driving in July 2008.  Jim Blaylock/staff
Jim Blaylock/staff
Brandon Wise is led from the Columbia County Courthouse after being sentenced to two months in jail for striking kindergarten teacher Christian Giles, 24, with the car he was driving in July 2008.

Brandon Len Wise, 27, pleaded guilty to vehicular homicide due to excessive tint and driving a vehicle with excessive tint, both misdemeanors.

Superior Court Chief Judge J. Carlisle Overstreet sentenced Wise to two months in the Columbia County Detention Center, followed by 10 months on probation and a $700 fine as part of a negotiated plea agreement with the district attorney's office.

"My heart goes out to everyone involved," Overstreet said at the sentencing hearing in the Evans courthouse.

Wise initially was charged with second-degree vehicular homicide and traveling too fast for conditions in the death of 24-year-old Christian Giles.

Giles was walking on the edge of Mullikin Road with her husband and dogs about 9 p.m. July 16, 2008, when the Ford Expedition driven by Wise struck her.

"I'm just deeply sorry for everything that has occurred," Wise said at the hearing. "If I could take it all back, I would. If I could trade places with Christian, I would; no doubt about it."

The investigation into the incident showed that Giles was walking with her back to traffic at twilight.

"Our prayers have been and continue to be with the family of Christian Giles," Wise's mother, Ginny Wise, said. "Our lives will be forever changed."

Wise was driving his girlfriend's vehicle, which had dark tint at the top of the windshield for glare and a lighter tint on the rest of the windshield. The vehicle was still registered in Florida, where his girlfriend had moved from a few months earlier.

In Georgia, no tint is allowed on the windshield except for the top 6 inches.

Wise was not speeding through the 30 mph zone, and was not impaired or using his cell phone at the time of the wreck, Assistant District Attorney Adam King said.

The wreck occurred at dusk, when he couldn't see past the light of the headlights and would need about three seconds to react to any obstacle within the vehicle's lighted path, said Wise's attorney, Victor Hawk.

"He didn't have time to recognize and react to anyone who came into his path," Hawk said.

The victim's family was not completely supportive of the plea agreement.

Giles' husband, Auburn, and her mother, Debbie Daniel, were among several family members and friends who spoke at the hearing.

"There's no reason why he couldn't see her," Daniel said. "This is a parent's worst nightmare, and the impact is shattering."

Wise has been cited for traffic offenses since he started driving and since the wreck that killed Giles.

At 16, he was caught driving too fast for conditions on the same road. Nearly four years before Giles' death, he was caught speeding in Springfield, Ga., while driving supplies and equipment to Savannah, Ga., for a catering company, Hawk said.

Before that, Wise was cited twice within a few weeks for following too close in cases where he bumped the back of vehicles, but caused no damage.

Since Giles' death, he hit a puddle on a rainy night and bumped into a parked car in the lot of his girlfriend's apartment complex and was given a warning for failing to maintain lane while on the way to breakfast at 4 a.m. on a workday, Hawk said.

Giles' husband said Wise shouldn't be allowed to drive.

"It makes me sick to my stomach to know that somebody else out there could go through the same crap," he said.

He also cited the frustration of the "games" that have gone on since Wise's arrest.

Wise agreed to a plea agreement in August, but withdrew his intent to plead after Judge Jim Blanchard recused himself from the case during the sentencing hearing because he knew some of the witnesses.

Since then, Anthony Nicastro has left the district attorney's office and the case has been transferred to King.

"We believe this is an appropriate resolution," King said.

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windsor41
0
Points
windsor41 01/31/11 - 01:14 pm
0
0
a life for two month in

a life for two month in jail?whats up with that?if that would have bin overstreets wife how much jailtime would that be?

Chillen
17
Points
Chillen 01/31/11 - 01:18 pm
0
0
This is a terrible situation

This is a terrible situation but the young man did not do it on purpose. I'm sure he wishes he had seen her. As a parent, I would be devastated.

What is "excessive tint" and how did he get charged twice with it?

IsAmericaFree
47
Points
IsAmericaFree 01/31/11 - 01:34 pm
0
0
He didn't get charged with it

He didn't get charged with it twice. The first count is vehicle homicide that was caused by the excessive tint. The second charge is for the excessive tint.

InChristLove
22473
Points
InChristLove 01/31/11 - 01:36 pm
0
0
I agree, this is a terrible

I agree, this is a terrible situation for all families involved. Please people, when walking, walk facing traffic. If Mrs. Giles had been aware that a large vehicle was getting ready to pass maybe she would have stepped a little closer to the embankment area. I'm not familiar with this area but I am sure this young man did not intentionally hit her and wishes it never had happened. My prayers go out to Mrs. Giles husband and family. May God give you peace.

stairway2nowhere
0
Points
stairway2nowhere 01/31/11 - 01:43 pm
0
0
mama and daddy got money and

mama and daddy got money and connections thats why...judge probably asked for permission to give him that sentence

jones255
0
Points
jones255 01/31/11 - 01:53 pm
0
0
Seems to me that the

Seems to me that the girfriend, and possibly her parents, are as much to blame for this tragic accident, as Mr. Wise. It ticks me off to no end, seeing these vehicles with tinted windows, that the owner KNOWS is illegal. Unless there is a medical reason, tinting should not be allowed to EVEN BE DONE, beyond what is allowed by law. If you want your windows tinted darker, most tint shops will not even give you a reciept. They KNOW they are breaking the law. Why wasn't the vehicle owner cited?? My thoughts and prayers go out to the family.

dougk
3
Points
dougk 01/31/11 - 01:57 pm
0
0
Isn't THAT the truth,
Unpublished

Isn't THAT the truth, Charlie.

mybaskett
229
Points
mybaskett 01/31/11 - 01:58 pm
0
0
I am Shocked by the amount of

I am Shocked by the amount of time this young man rec'd. This family has waited for more than two years for this day and what a sad day it is. I agree with you charliemanson.

pollypocket
0
Points
pollypocket 01/31/11 - 02:29 pm
0
0
What a sad day for this

What a sad day for this family. I find it hard to believe that a window can be tinted so much that you can not see a person out of it! That is crazy. Take responsibility for your actions! The famlily has had to wait over 2 years for this! He gets 2 months for a lifetime of misery for the husband and parents! Is this the only trouble this guy has been in? hmmmm

realitycheck09
307
Points
realitycheck09 01/31/11 - 02:38 pm
0
0
You guys understand that the

You guys understand that the death happened in a traffic ACCIDENT, right? As in, any of YOU could have been that Defendant. One little swerve, red light missed, or going just a bit too fast and YOU could have been the Defendant. I am constantly amazed at people's thirst for blood on comments here.

stairway2nowhere
0
Points
stairway2nowhere 01/31/11 - 03:08 pm
0
0
well lets just ban everything

well lets just ban everything that you dont like... a vehicle is private property and im sure tired of everyone else telling me what i can and cant do with it...secondly what time of day did this accident happen...and i mean no disrespect for the dead but she was walking in the road...not on the shoulder nor the sidewalk but walking in the road with her back to traffic...sorry but common sense will keep you from harms way

stairway2nowhere
0
Points
stairway2nowhere 01/31/11 - 03:09 pm
0
0
he wasnt drunk wasnt on the

he wasnt drunk wasnt on the phone wasnt doing nothing illegal it wasnt his car but lord gotta jump on something so all you got is the fact of it being tinted windows

Lonewuf
5
Points
Lonewuf 01/31/11 - 03:14 pm
0
0
As painful as it may be....

As painful as it may be.... justice has been served.... Let it rest....

BornInAUG
1
Points
BornInAUG 01/31/11 - 03:22 pm
0
0
Very easily could happen to

Very easily could happen to ANYONE. The article quoted Brandon as being remorseful. Obviously several people commenting on this haven't been through a situation like this or know anyone who has. Imagine what he must wake up with every day. This is not a cold hearted, calculated killer here people. Have some compassion.

pollypocket
0
Points
pollypocket 01/31/11 - 03:24 pm
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This woman is the victim! If

This woman is the victim! If this was all so innocent, why did it take so long? There is more to this story and she was not IN the road! I am not saying that the guy did this on purpose but there has to be some sort of consequence. How do they know he was not using his phone, even if they checked his phone record, he may not have hit send on that text yet. If this was your daugher, wife, mother, or teacher would you still feel the same? And again, I ask the question....Has this guy ever hit "anything" else with a vehicle? Justice was not served.

Grace422
239
Points
Grace422 01/31/11 - 03:49 pm
0
0
I got to the know the Giles

I got to the know the Giles Family after the accident and they are a great family who have endured a very tragic loss of a family member. The Giles Family and Ms Daniel will suffer with this for the rest of their lives. In addition to this CC wants them the Giles & Daniel family to remove the memorial that was set up for her at the scene of the accident. This truly is a tragic situation because all of the families involved know each other but, emotional not everyone involved will pay same the price. Peace, Prays , and Blessing to the Giles & Daniel family.

easy breezy
14
Points
easy breezy 01/31/11 - 03:56 pm
0
0
This is tragic for all

This is tragic for all parties involved. This young man will live out the rest of his life knowing he hit and killed someone. Isn't that enough punishment on its own? Yes, it could have been anyone of us that this happened to. Let this young lady rest in peace. I think it's time to put the story to rest. Hope everyone involved can find peace.

BornInAUG
1
Points
BornInAUG 01/31/11 - 04:11 pm
0
0
So Grace, you're calling for

So Grace, you're calling for his death for closure? This is getting out of hand. You might want to look up what "GRACE" means.

follower
59
Points
follower 01/31/11 - 04:11 pm
0
0
We're not talking about a

We're not talking about a remorseless killer, a drunken driver, or a theif that took a life to get what he wanted.

I can't understand what the family of this young lady feels in this time and pray that I never will. But whatever sentence may or may not have been appropriate, it's unlikely to compare with what he lives with every day, knowing that his careless actions took a life.

The consolation for a child of God is that the one taken from this life has the hope of etenity in the next. My prayers for all concerned. May God comfort you in this time.

Chillen
17
Points
Chillen 01/31/11 - 04:27 pm
0
0
Everyone here feels more than

Everyone here feels more than sorry for the loss of this young womans life but I too find it disturbing that some are calling for this man's head on a platter.

If we start jailing people for every single accident we are headed down a slipperly slope. I prefer for jails to be filled with criminals who rob, cheat & kill with INTENT. They are far more important to keep incarcerated and out of society.

The ONLY reason I even remotely agree with jail time for this guy is because of the window tinting issue - but it wasn't even his car!

This was a tragic accident - one I hope I never have to face.

Asitisinaug
3
Points
Asitisinaug 01/31/11 - 04:37 pm
0
0
I am 100% for law, order,

I am 100% for law, order, punishment and self responsibility and acountibility. However, accidents are accidents and without many extenuating circumstances only should be treated as such.

When you go walking or bicycling in a roadway, you are taking a major risk and are partly at fault, even if you are the victim. This accident happened at dusk, the victim was within the white line of the roadway, they knew each other through mutual friends, etc.

People should be walking at least 5 feet off of roadways and bicycling in those areas as well. This is not to say they are at fault if something happens to them but is certainly is the purdent thing to do.

EVERY driver in America gets destracted for seconds from time to time and this could happen to the best of us so watch what you call for in punishments.

Fiat_Lux
15436
Points
Fiat_Lux 01/31/11 - 04:45 pm
0
0
Bad stuff happens to good

Bad stuff happens to good people all. the. time. This situation is tragic and happened to good people on both sides of this tragedy. It was an accident. Accidents happen to good people all. the. time. Good people take responsibility for what they do and are involved in, even if it's not their fault. Brandon Wise has accepted his responsibility and the consequences according to THE LAW.

Vindictive people will never be satisfied with anything less than an eye for an eye kind of justice, which is very primitive. The same applies to those who are envious of Mr. Wise's race or social standing, whatever the latter is. Some of these comments are disgusting.

Grace422
239
Points
Grace422 01/31/11 - 04:53 pm
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0
My statement was if he was

My statement was if he was accidently struck and killed in the same manner as her.. Merely by accident not on purpose you know walk a mile in the families shoe that actual lost their loved one. Then they would know the depth of the family's sorrow. I bet his family is relived not sadden by this judgment. By the Grace of God this man is only giving up 2 months of his life. She just got married and was planning to start a family, but by the Grace of God he will have that chance, but not her. BTW Grace is a birth name and not a statement / message..

H4LJ
1
Points
H4LJ 01/31/11 - 04:59 pm
0
0
To all those playing Pontius

To all those playing Pontius Pilate on here: You have no clue about what you are talking about. This guy comes from a good family and no, his daddy is not a politician. This was a horrible accident, plane and simple. No drugs or alcohol was found in his system. This wasnt a hit and run either. You people are so lucky to be perfect drivers! This could have happened to a lot of you. The punishment is fair.

justthefacts
21971
Points
justthefacts 01/31/11 - 05:00 pm
0
0
Grace, if "by the Grace of

Grace, if "by the Grace of God" as you are stating, what does that say about the "Grace of God"?

Grace422
239
Points
Grace422 01/31/11 - 05:18 pm
0
0
What I mean is by the Grace

What I mean is by the Grace of God this young man has a chance to make an amends. For him and to help the family heal. He could talk to young driver's about driving dangers, he could devote some of his time a cause that was important to her. He could personally lay flowers on her grave every year. He could do all the above. If I were in his shoes I would be looking for a way to help her legacy live on. Based on what I’ve read in the paper and the conversations I’ve had with some of the family members involved only thing their planning is he’s coming home party in 2 months.

justthefacts
21971
Points
justthefacts 01/31/11 - 05:25 pm
0
0
It sounds like you don't

It sounds like you don't agree with the sentencing and the fact that the young man still has a chance to live his life. Yet you attribute all this to the Grace of God.

dahofsd17
0
Points
dahofsd17 01/31/11 - 05:31 pm
0
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Let me just say that I live

Let me just say that I live in this neighborhood and a couple facts should be made clear. First, there was not any sidewalk at all in that area before this accident. Numerous residents of this area complained and lobbied the city for a sidewalk due to increased traffic, speeding and near accidents involving children going to the school on this road. All complaints were ignored, until this tragic incident. Why did it take a death for the county to act? It's amazing how quick the county put a sidewalk in after the accident, down right criminal behavior by the county if you ask me. This teacher was walking her dogs on the same little shoulder of road that kids were made to walk down to go to school and back home each day.The second point is that Mulliken Road is still very dangerous because of the curves on it and the excessive speeds used by numerous people that use it. It's a shame that the people in this neighborhood learned nothing from this accident and it seems that the County and police are not willing to do anything to help. There will be a nasty accident on this road again, mark my words.

Grace422
239
Points
Grace422 01/31/11 - 05:56 pm
0
0
Just the facts I don't agree

Just the facts I don't agree with the sentencing and the fact someone had to loose their life in this tragic accident. Put yourself behind a wheel. Do you not keep your eye on the road? I've had the swerve or slam on the brakes to miss hitting people, cars and animals that have run into the path of my car.

InChristLove
22473
Points
InChristLove 01/31/11 - 06:04 pm
0
0
dahofsd17, my only comment

dahofsd17, my only comment is, if this road is so horrible and dangerous before they put the sidewalk in, what responsible parents would allow their child to walk down this road to school in the first place (before the sidewalk).

Grace, you make some very important suggestions for this young man to do in memory of Mrs. Giles....talk to young drivers, donate time to a cause she was passionate about. Who's to say this young man won't do those things when he's released.

Grace, I don't know if you are a religious person or not but this accident did not take God by surprise. He can make good out of bad and althought it is terribly sad when we loose a love one, if you have faith in God then he is the only one who can comfort this family. No amount of bitterness toward Brandon or revenge you or the family seek will give comfort or peace of mine. Hopefully Brandon will learn from this and become a better man and do something wonderful because of all of this sadness.

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