Man gets 12 years in fatal wreck

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The collapse of the victim's sister during Jamie Clark's sentencing hearing served to confirm the horror he had caused, the judge said Friday.

Rosa Lovett asked that Mr. Clark's sentencing in Richmond County Superior Court proceed without her. She was taken by ambulance to University Hospital before the hearing concluded.

Mr. Clark, 20, pleaded guilty Friday to homicide by vehicle in the first degree, fleeing a police officer, driving under the influence, running a stop sign and driving on a restricted license.

On March 1, Mr. Clark fled a traffic stop on Broad Street. At Old Savannah Road and Gordon Highway he crashed his vehicle into the side of a vehicle turning left on a green arrow. Laura Felder, a 42-year-old mother of three and new grandmother, was killed.

The kindness and compassion of Ms. Felder's sister led Assistant District Attorney Johnny Markwalter to follow her wishes regarding sentencing recommendations, he said. Mr. Clark had been charged with murder, punishable by a mandatory life sentence.

Ms. Lovett said she would not ask for Mr. Clark's imprisonment for the rest of his life. He needed to be punished and to understand that he did wrong, but she believed it was an accident, she said.

"I know you didn't intend to do that," she said. "I'm angry with you, but I don't hate you."

"I'm really sorry," Mr. Clark said. "It was my mistake. I know sorry doesn't cut it. (But) I am sorry."

The plea agreement recommended to Judge Michael N. Annis was for a prison term between 10 and 15 years followed by probation.

Mr. Clark's attorney and family pleaded for mercy for the man who had never been in trouble before.

Judge Annis sentenced Mr. Clark to 12 years in prison followed by 11 years on probation.

While on probation, Mr. Clark must perform 1,040 hours of community service, 1,000 of those hours in educating others about the dangers of DUI, speeding and how it feels to lose a decade of your life because of a bad decision made in a split second.

Mr. Clark's passenger that night who admitted he encouraged Mr. Clark to flee the traffic stop, Michael Guido, was sentenced in November to three years in prison followed by 17 years on probation.

Ms. Lovett was being treated at University Hospital late Friday afternoon. She was listed in good condition, said spokesman Steve Crawford.

Reach Sandy Hodson at (706) 823-3226 or sandy.hodson@augustachronicle.com.

Comments (16) Add comment
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Ole School
1
Points
Ole School 02/07/09 - 04:54 am
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sounds like the healing has

sounds like the healing has started......

patriciathomas
42
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patriciathomas 02/07/09 - 05:43 am
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Stupid kids being stupid. The

Stupid kids being stupid. The worst that could happen, did happen. I feel Judge Annis gave a fair sentence. What a horrible experience for all involved.

justus4
113
Points
justus4 02/07/09 - 06:30 am
0
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The chase should have been
Unpublished

The chase should have been broken off. That act possibly would have changed the tragic outcome. But then, the law enforcers are never wrong and their judgement is always 100% so nothing learned here. Just another life thrown into the pit of history and the true culprit still exercising biased judgements, violating the Fourth, and say, "we're stopping crimes." Some wonder if Ms. Lovett would agree with that observation.

Roadkill
0
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Roadkill 02/07/09 - 06:37 am
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justus, some cities/counties

justus, some cities/counties have experimented with a "no chase" policy. Guess what, more people started running. Just gave the bad guys a chance to get away. The cops once again were just doing their job.

steelermoose1
0
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steelermoose1 02/07/09 - 07:07 am
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justus4...maybe you should

justus4...maybe you should know what the hell your talking about before you make your ignorant comments. The chase WAS broken off and the subject continued driving erratically due to the intoxication. It took deputies 4 minutes to get to the location after the accident. 4 minutes is a LONG time.

steelermoose1
0
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steelermoose1 02/07/09 - 07:11 am
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Good point Roadkill...and

Good point Roadkill...and just to add to that, the cities that have done the no-chase thing have experienced more fatal accidents because more people run thinking the police arent going to chase them. When the run, they do not observe traffic laws for several miles trying to get as far away as possible before thinking they are in the clear. Justus4 is just a complete fool, and most likely one of these hoodrats that run from police and uses race as a springboard for his ignorant rants.

HYPOCRITES 08
7
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HYPOCRITES 08 02/07/09 - 07:18 am
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JUSTUS4, law enforcement is

JUSTUS4, law enforcement is not 100% right. I for one still have questions about whether or not the pursuit was broken off or not. Having said that, I think that Ms. Lovett displayed courage that I cannot say that I have. I too do not think that Clark should spend the rest of his life in prison but I doubt that I have in me at this time the strength to do what she did.

HYPOCRITES 08
7
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HYPOCRITES 08 02/07/09 - 07:22 am
0
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Steeler, granted I have a

Steeler, granted I have a serious problem with JUSTUS4 tainting just about everything with race. However this time you mentioned it and IMHO is just as guilty as he has been, for bringing it up.

curly123053
5405
Points
curly123053 02/07/09 - 07:58 am
0
0
DUI has nothing to do with

DUI has nothing to do with race and it disturbs me when it get's brought up in regards to any crime. If you do the crime be prepared to do the time regardless of who you are. And, after working EMS for 22 yrs I refuse to refer to crashes resulting from DUI's as accidents. DUI is NOT an accident, it is a total disregard for the safety of others on the road and it is criminal.

buckfiddy
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buckfiddy 02/07/09 - 08:07 am
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I feel twelve years was harsh

I feel twelve years was harsh for a first offense.Remember that surgen that went the wrong way on riverwatch while intoxicated? And killed 18 year old Brandon he he only got nothing and he was in toxicated.But of course that case was with judge Overstreet. And we all know what a pathetic judge he is.

curly123053
5405
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curly123053 02/07/09 - 08:44 am
0
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That doctor better be glad I

That doctor better be glad I was not on the bench....He should have been put away for a long time in my book. That was travesty of justice committed by Overstreet.

mable8
2
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mable8 02/07/09 - 08:47 am
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snakeypete: It's all about

snakeypete: It's all about how much money you have and your "status" in society. Doctors, lawyers, judges, etc receive preferential treatment no matter where one lives. Augusta is no different.

420Time
0
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420Time 02/07/09 - 09:43 am
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Normally Just4us does taint

Normally Just4us does taint everything w/ race but I don't see in the comments above. What this case demonstrates just like the case w/ the surgeon is that when you have resources (ie $$$ to hire the best attys) you get a break.

Just take a look at Rush Limbaugh who railed against drug users in the '90's but when he was caught w/ 11000 oxycotin pills himself he hired Roy Black (@ $700/hr) and got off w/ probation and a 30k dollar fine. What a hypocrite!!! OJ was another example of this. A no name broke OJ would have been in jail for murder. The justice system is not and has never been fair to those who commit crimes and have little resources to access the justice.

I use to be a CSE agent in Augusta and saw many examples of this all the time. One man comes in who just lost his job and is a month behind on his CS gets jail while a Dr. or Banker or Martinez or Evans resident w/ the right lawyer gets a payment plan.

junket83
0
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junket83 02/07/09 - 10:56 am
0
0
Again the problem is not the

Again the problem is not the Police or Sheriff's it is the idiotic idea that one can disobey law enforcement. If an officer says stop, then STOP. Don't mouth off or act disrespectul. For most law abiding folks this isn't hard to do, but for most criminal elements it is very difficult. But do it none the less.

Evading law enforcement or fleeing the scene should be judged very severely. It is extemely costly and very risky behavior as we've scene in this case or more recently in the Elmore case.

If using a fire arm during a crime can add years to a sentence, then using a vehicle to flee law enforcement should be treated the same. It is equivalent to firing a weapon down the street. You may not have intended to hit anything, but you just might.

spdermn78
4
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spdermn78 02/07/09 - 10:59 am
0
0
Good Call Roadkill. Take

Good Call Roadkill. Take Savannah Police Department for instance. They have a no chase policy, meaning the police there cant chase NOBODY! I mean murders, bank robbers, rapist, etc. And as beautiful as that city is... crime is astronomical. You get robbed in broad day light walking the squares at night. GOOD JOB R.C.S.O and Just4us keep your tree hugging comments to yourself.

SargentMidTown
8
Points
SargentMidTown 02/07/09 - 02:04 pm
0
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Why didn't Clark get a year

Why didn't Clark get a year of community service?

riptide
0
Points
riptide 02/07/09 - 02:04 pm
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a few years ago I had a

a few years ago I had a relative who was at a Martinez home. He and a CC (so called) freind got into an argument over some baseball tickets. A third CC resident was there also. All three were under the influence of alcohol. The CC resident stabbed my relative. After my relative was taken to MCG, exploratory surgery was performed. The next day the father of the stabber came to the hosp., in front of me and my wife the father actually offered a bribe to to our relatve. (to buy him a truck). We ran this individual off. All this was reported to the Asst. DA handling the case. Long story short. At the trial the stabber was fined$500.00 and given a few months probation. The Judge stated that since there was no Viable witinesses thats all he would do. The asst. DA did not even ask for restitution of the $12,000.00 hospital bill. There is much more to this story, but I know the bottom line. At the end of a preliminary hearing I noticed the Asst. DA skining and grining with the stabbers attorney. Over the years I have oftened wondered. And they call justice blind????????

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