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Hephzibah man pleads guilty in pedestrian deaths

Thursday, Feb. 28, 2013 4:44 PM
Last updated Friday, March 1, 2013 1:30 AM
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A Hephzibah motorist who struck and killed two teen pedestrians pleaded guilty Thursday to two misdemeanor counts of vehicular homicide.

William Shores, 23, was sentenced to a year in the county jail, followed by a year’s probation in a plea deal accepted by Richmond County Superior Court Judge J. Wade Padg­ett.

On March 2, 2011, Shores was driving east on McCombs Road when he rounded a curve and hit Michael Perry, 17, and Sarah Riffe, 13. Based on the Georgia State Patrol investigation, the teens were in the eastbound lane, Assistant District Attor­ney Adam Land said.

The investigation revealed Shores was going 58 mph in a 45-mph zone. The speeding was the underlying basis for the vehicular homicide charges.

There was no indication that Shores was intoxicated, but the investigating trooper requested a blood test, Land said.

The results – which appellate courts have split on allowing as evidence when collected in the same manner – revealed methamphetamine in his system.

Land said a chemist reported that the level was too low to gauge the extent of possible intoxication.

A state patrol trooper met with Shores and his parents and told them the accident wasn’t his fault, As­sis­tant Public Defender Lynd­­sey Hix said Thursday.

Because of the curve in the road, there was no way Shores could have seen the teens in time to stop, Hix said.

She said the deaths have caused Shores a tremendous amount of guilt that he will carry for the rest of his life.

“I’m so sorry. I really am,” Shores said to two of Per­ry’s family members at the hearing Thurs­day.

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Young Fred
Young Fred 03/01/13 - 02:42 am
This report is disturbing on

This report is disturbing on so many levels.

The testimony of the trooper carries much weight in this case, as it should.

But I have to ask, had he been going the speed limit, would he have had time to stop?

That was not adressed in this report. Why not?

rmwhitley 03/01/13 - 09:13 am
I drive

I-575 nearly every day at 80mph. Sometimes I feel (at that speed) that I must be stopped in the road because people pass me like I'm standing still. And they're putting on make-up, on the cell phone or texting.

oldredneckman96 03/01/13 - 01:33 pm
Dead is Dead

No matter what this young man was doing, speed or drugs or what ever, if the two teens had been taught how to walk along a road, facing traffic so they might see the car comming, they might be alive today. He was wrong in his actions and is paying the price. He has been judged by twelve and they were carried by six. Anyone walking, biking or otherwise not traveling at normal road speed, turn around, face traffic and be ready to move out of harms way.

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