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DUI case was not prosecuted

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Whitney Revis was 20 years old when she lost her life to a drunk driver June 4.

Christopher Chason Roberts, charged with homicide in the crash death of Whitney Revis this month, was never prosecuted for his second DUI arrest in 2002.   Special
Special
Christopher Chason Roberts, charged with homicide in the crash death of Whitney Revis this month, was never prosecuted for his second DUI arrest in 2002.

The driver, Christopher Chason Roberts, had been charged with DUI twice before in Richmond County. However, he was prosecuted for only one of those incidents.

Revis was a passenger in Roberts' 1997 Honda when it struck a guardrail at the westbound entrance to Bobby Jones Expressway from Doug Barnard Parkway. Roberts left the scene in a patrol car on charges of driving under the influence, open container and serious injury by motor vehicle.

Revis left in an ambulance in critical condition. Doctors at Medical College of Georgia Hospital placed her on life support. Three days later, she died from anoxic brain injury.

Her family, who could not be reached for comment, called Revis "her parents' miracle baby" in her obituary.

Charges against Roberts were upgraded to homicide.

Roberts was jailed in January 2000 for his first DUI. Judge Sheryl B. Jolly sentenced him to 12 months each on charges of driving with an unlawful liquor concentration of alcohol, no headlights and open container.

Two years later, deputies had another run-in with Roberts. This time he was arrested on charges of DUI and weaving, but the case disappeared. Solicitor General Charles Evans attributes that to an error.

"It looks like from what research I've done it was marked as a disposed file sometime between 2003 and 2008," Evans said.

Disposed files, which are marked by a large "D" on the folder, are shelved awaiting a month-by-month transfer to records retention. Eventually the retention files will be destroyed after permission is given to destroy a certain year or semester's worth of files.

"Short of going back and conducting an investigation of people who no longer work here, I'll have to assume if people were doing their jobs that someone made an error and marked it as disposed," Evans said.

Roberts' file lived in retention for around three months before being requested in 2008, Evans said. Roberts was added to the court calendar and then bench warranted after not appearing.

He crashed into a concrete barrier in October. Roberts, who held an active license at the time, was arrested on a bench warrant.

He will now be prosecuted for the 2002 DUI in addition to the fatal crash this month.

Evans said he couldn't say what charges Roberts would have received in the 2002 case or whether he would have been named a habitual violator.

Sentencing for DUIs typically depends on the judge, he said.

Even before the first two DUIs, Roberts had run afoul of the law while driving. He had been charged with a felony count of serious injury by motor vehicle at age 18 in 1992.

Court documents show Roberts pulled his vehicle into the path of James Kevin Furlan's vehicle at Old Savannah and Tobacco roads.

Furlan suffered a broken back and was paralyzed from the waist down.

Officers at the scene requested Roberts submit to a blood-alcohol test, which came back negative.

The felony count was dismissed after a judge discovered no evidence of recklessness in the case, court documents said.

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augusta citizen
9305
Points
augusta citizen 06/20/11 - 06:34 am
0
0
This man is a poster child

This man is a poster child for irresponsible behavior.

TK3
562
Points
TK3 06/20/11 - 07:54 am
0
0
He better hope he gets locked

He better hope he gets locked away because sooner or later a surviving family member of someone he kills while driving under influence will take him off the streets for good. If he were to hit and kill my wife or family member he would pass a go in court and go directly to serve time in hell.

Chillen
17
Points
Chillen 06/20/11 - 08:43 am
0
0
How many incompetent judges,

How many incompetent judges, parole boards, clerks & govt employees must we put up with before we demand that they actually do their jobs? How many people should die?

I'm sick of reading stories like this or stories about someone shot & killed, only to learn that they were given a light sentence, parole or no sentence.

Whoever was responsible for this man's paperwork being "mishandled" should be fired today.

rmajor
8
Points
rmajor 06/20/11 - 08:53 am
0
0
All this time....hurting and

All this time....hurting and killing people because of DUI and wrecklessness...3 times? Really? Whatha? It's more than a mistake I tell ya. People are hurt and dead because of an administrative mistake?
Sick...just sick.

Riverman1
83520
Points
Riverman1 06/20/11 - 08:59 am
0
0
Let's be honest here. The

Let's be honest here. The same "losing of things" happens on a higher level with high profile individuals using high powered attorneys. Phony court dates so the officer doesn't show up and all that.

bullet1114
0
Points
bullet1114 06/20/11 - 10:13 am
0
0
"Sentencing typically depends

"Sentencing typically depends on the judge"...... Shouldn't it depend on the "LAW" and shouldn't the "LAW"protect innocent people who are doing the right thing?!?! It shouldn't protect stupid, irresponsible people. It is NOT rocket science........you have a drink, DO NOT DRIVE!!!!!! ZERO TOLERANCE FOR DUI ! ZERO TOLERANCE FOR PEOPLE THAT STAND BY AND WATCH SOMEONE GET INTO A CAR AFTER THEY HAVE BEEN DRINKING!!! We ALL have a responsibility to stop these people from driving and report anybody that we suspect of DUI.

Iwannakno
1533
Points
Iwannakno 06/20/11 - 11:14 am
0
0
I would think the person
Unpublished

I would think the person responsible for mishandling this case should be charged with reckless indifference resulting in a homicide by motor vehicle. Never happen but people in the court system should be held to the same standards as they expect citizens who follow the law to act.

dizzy dictator
103
Points
dizzy dictator 06/20/11 - 11:18 am
0
0
So this was the man that

So this was the man that pulled out in front of my husband back in 1992 and left him paralyzed as stated on a previous post. My two children were only 4 months old and 2 1/2 yrs old at the time of the accident. After my husband was home from the hospital some 6 months later we had plans to sue this man for 3 million dollars even though we knew we would never get a dime of it. Its original intention was to wake him up and hopefully he would be more cautious in his driving abilities. As it turns out if we went through with the lawsuit it would have held up the car insurance money and we needed it to obtain items to further his care. I now wonder if had we gone forward with the suit if this would have helped and spared more heartache to other families. My thoughts are with the family of Ms. Revis and thank you Augusta Chronicle for clarifying the 1992 charge as I was left wondering if this was the man. I now hope everyone is now up to speed on everything this man has done whether it was intentionally done or not, this all needs to stop!!

Iwannakno
1533
Points
Iwannakno 06/20/11 - 11:23 am
0
0
The only thing that stops
Unpublished

The only thing that stops people like this is a prison cell where they can't drive. People who are arrested for DUI are repeat offenders and people are crazy if they think the time they got caught is the first time they ever drove drunk.

allhans
23617
Points
allhans 06/20/11 - 12:08 pm
0
0
Just who is this man that he

Just who is this man that he was allowed to avoid punishment. And Who does he know?

Billyds999
17
Points
Billyds999 06/20/11 - 12:12 pm
0
0
Able-bodied man sitting in a

Able-bodied man sitting in a prison cell? Put his butt on the chain-gang! We've got ditches along the road that need cleaning out, streets that need to be cleaned, grass that needs to be cut...

iLove
626
Points
iLove 06/20/11 - 12:27 pm
0
0
If he was black or another
Unpublished

If he was black or another minority, do you think he would have been given so many chances to screw up someone else's life?

Iwannakno
1533
Points
Iwannakno 06/20/11 - 12:32 pm
0
0
I agree Billy...I didn't mean
Unpublished

I agree Billy...I didn't mean it as sit...I meant it as anything that will keep him from driving....ever.

dade30906
224
Points
dade30906 06/20/11 - 03:13 pm
0
0
"The jurist dismissed a

"The jurist dismissed a felony count and District Attorney's office refused to prosecute." This just shows the prejudice of the Judicial Court System and D.A.office toward certain group of race thats still exist today when it come to prosecution caucasian and minorities are treated different. "Thanks Augusta Chronicle for running this story three years later"! "This is a rude awakening!"

Patty-P
3516
Points
Patty-P 06/20/11 - 11:40 pm
0
0
What is it with the judicial

What is it with the judicial system here?

bclicious
718
Points
bclicious 06/21/11 - 01:34 am
0
0
It's not just here. On one

It's not just here.

On one hand, if you look the judicial system in America has cracked down on DUIs over the last 15 years. DUI related fatalities, and DUIs in general have both been greatly reduced. A lot of this can be attributed to the actions of M.A.D.D. This organization pretty much took away the discretion from police officers to merely blow off a drunk driver, and simply have someone come pick the drunk driver up, or for the drunk driver to be allowed to sleep it off in jail without the fear of prosecution.

This has led to many people having their lives ruined by DUIs; however, it is has probably saved countless lives.

On the other hand; presently I have seen a big push from M.A.D.D. as well as from many other public organizations for our judicial system to use more discretion when handling DUIs. It seems that a majority of people want to reduce the standardization of punishment for all offenders. Also, there's a big push for the courts to take into consideration the circumstances of each individual DUI case, (BAC; was the person cooperative; was anyone hurt; and were drugs involved) the character, and criminal history of each person charged.

As a law enforcement officer, I cannot tell you how many of my DUIs I have seen downgraded to Reckless Driving. This is basically a tactic used by the District Attorneys office to try and save certain citizens from DUIs.

Asitisinaug
3
Points
Asitisinaug 06/23/11 - 10:13 pm
0
0
ASSUME it was marked in

ASSUME it was marked in error...BS!!! Find out who marked it as such and why and if they were paid to do so, lock em up.

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