Man shows remorse after death

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The pain was palpable Thursday morning as Daniel J. Hathorn faced the grief he wrought by driving after ingesting drugs and alcohol.

He broke the heart of Lucy Thompson's 83-year-old mother, who chose to forgive him, although her grief has nearly crushed her spirit, her daughters told the judge.

Ms. Thompson, 57, was on her way home after work Dec. 11 when Mr. Hathorn's Dodge pickup crossed the center line on Highland Avenue and struck her Honda Civic head on.

Ms. Thompson's injuries were so severe that no organ or tissue could be donated as she had wanted, her sisters told the judge.

It wasn't only Ms. Thompson's family in tears Thursday. Mr. Hathorn's family members struggled to convey the depths of sorrow for the grief he caused. Every day they pray for the comfort of Ms. Thompson's family, said Mr. Hathorn's young wife and the mother of his 2-year-old daughter.

Mr. Hathorn's blood-alcohol level was only 0.025, below the presumed intoxication level of .08, but toxicology results revealed that he had also ingested a prescription medication and cocaine, Assistant District Attorney Adam King said.

Assistant Public Defender Jason Hasty told the judge he has never seen a client more willing to take responsibility or more remorseful.

"I know what I'm saying right now will never make up for it, but I'm sorry," the 24-year-old Mr. Hathorn said.

"In these matters, everyone loses," Judge Carl C. Brown Jr. said.

In Richmond County Superior Court, Judge Brown sentenced Mr. Hathorn to 13 years in prison followed by two years on probation.

The judge also imposed 200 hours of community service that Mr. Hathorn is to do by sharing his story with others in hopes of stopping others from causing such tragedy.

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

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g-dog express
0
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g-dog express 06/05/09 - 04:18 am
0
0
This is a real shame. Mr.

This is a real shame. Mr. Hathorn gets it. He really understands what he has done and is showing remorse. So why do we in this case send him to prison? The probation should be increased to 10 years and the community service should be increased to 1000 hours. His license should be suspended for 10 years too. Though what happened was bad lets put real criminals behind bars and send these young men like Mr. Hathorn to the high schools to tell his story.

justus4
101
Points
justus4 06/05/09 - 05:04 am
0
0
This guy could not possibly
Unpublished

This guy could not possibly be a minority. How do U know? Well, look at the charges and the printed results: Remorse=(code word)=non-minority, Charges minimum, with no aggravations factors to increase jail time=Non-minority, so this one is easy to determine the application of justice. The guy will be out in seven yrs...a minority would've been charged with attempted murder, reckless homocide and gotten life in jail. Wow! Great country, eh? Equal justice, eh?

patriciathomas
42
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patriciathomas 06/05/09 - 05:47 am
0
0
justus4, it is a great

justus4, it is a great country. It allows different cultures to exist side by side. That possibly explains why "Remorse=(code word)=non-minority". Different cultures = different perspectives.

liveeachday
0
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liveeachday 06/05/09 - 06:00 am
0
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justus4, are you implying

justus4, are you implying that a minority is not capable of feeling remorse? You just profiled yourself - not your minority. It is way past due for people like you to look at people without looking at race.

my.voice
4824
Points
my.voice 06/05/09 - 06:41 am
0
0
13 years, prison is a

13 years, prison is a horrible place. I cannot imagine the grief on both sides.

jboy
0
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jboy 06/05/09 - 07:21 am
0
0
justus=racist

justus=racist

Concerned Citizen
0
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Concerned Citizen 06/05/09 - 07:50 am
0
0
I disagree with the first

I disagree with the first comment. Yeah he is showing remorse but he still needs prison time. If he gets anything less then that is basically showing all those that drink and drive that you will get a slap on the wrist. I think laws need to be tougher in this area and it is almost always the one doing wrong that survives. This is a choice they make when they get behind the wheel. This is something taught to us years before we are able to drive. I saw that car that night that happened and it was horrible. The car was smashed in as if something fell out of the sky on top of it. We were detoured around but you were still able to see the damage to the car and I said to myself then, that person could not have survived. I prayed for the person in the car and their family.

Grasshopper
7
Points
Grasshopper 06/05/09 - 07:53 am
0
0
The guy had cocaine,

The guy had cocaine, prescription drugs, and alcohol in his system. We all are educated on the effects of drugs and alcohol while driving, before we can get a license. This man chose to ignore the warnings and killed someone. He deserves what he got, Its bad that he didn't think of his own wife and child while abusing drugs and driving. Not all people who abuse drugs are bad people, but it does cause good people to make bad decisions. His decision to get behind the wheel killed someone.

patriciathomas
42
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patriciathomas 06/05/09 - 08:11 am
0
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Our society insists on

Our society insists on remorse from it's criminal element. Fatal irresponsibility is a crime in every society. Justice4 is partially right. This guy can begin his live again in abut 7 years. Let's hope he's learned actions have consequences. Ms. Thompson's family certainly has.

Grasshopper
7
Points
Grasshopper 06/05/09 - 08:16 am
0
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I hope parents share this

I hope parents share this article with their children to show what happens when people use drugs.

bone
23
Points
bone 06/05/09 - 08:16 am
0
0
another fine drive-by posting

another fine drive-by posting from justus: unsubstantiated allegations of racism followed by a hasty retreat. just once i would like justus to return to the scene of one of his/her idiotic rants & defend him/herself. yes, i've also heard the theory that justus is merely trying to cause commotion ("trolling" in internet lingo) and never intends to be taken seriously. remorse aside, the facts remain that drugs / alcohol played a part and the sentence is a fair one in light of the accident caused by mr. hathorn.

Jen2803
1
Points
Jen2803 06/05/09 - 08:18 am
0
0
Justus I have a family member

Justus I have a family member who was invovled in a drunk driving accident that took the life of a 17 year old girl. He got life and he's white. What is your point exactly that only black people get large sentences? Tell that to my cousins children who are living without him every day because of what he did. He has remorse so shouldn't he get a lighter sentence?

tlnvols
0
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tlnvols 06/05/09 - 08:44 am
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Justus is an IDIOT..

Justus is an IDIOT..

redapples
660
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redapples 06/05/09 - 08:46 am
0
0
Why does every societal issue

Why does every societal issue have to relate back to race? This reason alone is why Southerners are seen as ignorant in the eyes of the world, and I can't say that I disagree, in theory, with the label!

garciadrive
0
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garciadrive 06/05/09 - 09:03 am
0
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Jen, you took justus' bait.

Jen, you took justus' bait. he just wanted a reaction out of you. let me tell you about this guy. i dont know him, but i was raised around many just like him. justus is a volunteer victim who uses his victimhood as a platform from which to spout his pseudo-militant rhetoric. it's fashionable and cool to blame "the man" for everything. in his mind it's even right, given the historical injustices that blacks truly did suffer under. he's holding on to the past because its much easier to be a victim than a victor (at least in his mind). i don't feel sorry for him in the least though because he has chosen victimhood of his own free will. i do hope he doesnt have any kids though because he will perpetuate the biggoted victim mentality in them just as some non minorities will perpetuate the biggoted mentality in their kids.

kingcobra
0
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kingcobra 06/05/09 - 09:15 am
0
0
Well said garcia!

Well said garcia!

genbartow
0
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genbartow 06/05/09 - 09:17 am
0
0
justus-4-none. The judge is a

justus-4-none.
The judge is a minority, which is a majority in Augusta.
I think 13 years is a stiff and deserved sentence.
Anyway, I don't follow your "logic".

mad_max
0
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mad_max 06/05/09 - 09:21 am
0
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justus4 is just showing the

justus4 is just showing the kind of emphathy that Obama wants Ms. Sotomayor to show on the Supreme Court. You will get the same logic from her that you get from him. The only difference is that she tries to keep her racism in the closet a little bit more than justus4. But if you read her speeches, interviews, and papers, she and justus4 have a lot in common.

Ode
5
Points
Ode 06/05/09 - 10:33 am
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justus - please cite some

justus - please cite some references that reveal conflicting sentences in a case similar to this one involving a minority or otherwise shut your racist hole.

Grasshopper
7
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Grasshopper 06/05/09 - 10:40 am
0
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Ode I don't think Justus

Ode I don't think Justus responds to post!

mieshel
3
Points
mieshel 06/05/09 - 10:46 am
0
0
Do the crime, do the time..a

Do the crime, do the time..a little remorse here, and some religion in jail. He will survive,,

corgimom
32599
Points
corgimom 06/05/09 - 11:46 am
0
0
He's 24 years old. He is well

He's 24 years old. He is well old enough to know what he was doing and what the consequences could be. He's married with a 2 year old. Why wasn't he home being a husband and a father? His selfishness and irresponsibility got him in there, now he can get himself out. My heart goes out to the innocent people that has suffered because of his actions, but I do not have one ounce of sympathy for him.

Niko Mahs
83
Points
Niko Mahs 06/05/09 - 11:55 am
0
0
You make mistakes that have

You make mistakes that have BIG consequences and you pay big time. If this guy is truly sorry, then reduce his sentence from 13 to 10 years. Three years off for being sorry.

Ode
5
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Ode 06/05/09 - 12:29 pm
0
0
Your brother's actions took

Your brother's actions took away the ultimate freedom of another American. That indeed makes him a criminal. He may not have meant to do it but he did it just the same. Nobody forced him shove coke up his nose. Just because other people unfortunately drink and drive and infringe on the rights of other individuals doesn't make it right for your brother to snort up a high and go out for a drive and KILL a woman. At 15 you need to go ahead and learn that you are responsible for your actions and there are still consequences for those actions regardless of what the unconstitutional socialists are trying to do to this country.

Ode
5
Points
Ode 06/05/09 - 12:36 pm
0
0
You may not be stupid but you

You may not be stupid but you sure a hypocrite at a very young age. Just because others do drugs doesn't make it ok. It is illegal and when you do drugs outside of the 4 walls of your home you are putting others in harms way. There are consequences fory your actions. Your brother was high on coke driving HOME FROM WORK? More reckless behavior by putting himself and co-workers in danger. You and your brother need to learn a little bit about personal responsibility.

KSL
129900
Points
KSL 06/05/09 - 12:38 pm
0
0
wild, you are saying that he

wild, you are saying that he was on his way home from work and he was under the influence of drugs and alcohol but that's okay because lots of people do it? No, that's not ok. When I was growing up, the lots of others doing it argument did not work with my parents. I leaned that 50 years ago. You are 15. I hope you learn that today.

KSL
129900
Points
KSL 06/05/09 - 12:41 pm
0
0
Prescription drug, maybe

Prescription drug, maybe okay. But cocaine?? Give me a break.

KSL
129900
Points
KSL 06/05/09 - 12:44 pm
0
0
In view of this, who wants to

In view of this, who wants to start the discussion on legalizing drugs for the good of this country?

corgimom
32599
Points
corgimom 06/05/09 - 12:50 pm
0
0
Wild at heart-"you act like

Wild at heart-"you act like hes a real criminal". We act that way because he is. It is AGAINST THE LAW to use cocaine. IT IS A FELONY. So you mean he was drinking and using cocaine AT WORK? And if drinking and using cocaine wasn't selfish, what was it? Was he thinking about you? Or your family? Or his wife? Or his daughter? It was all about HIM. Yes, I DO know how many people drink and drug and drive. I know it way better than you do. I know its consequences and that's why I don't do it. Wild at heart, I sincerely hope that you go to Ala-Teen, it will help you deal with what you are facing, and help you learn what "enabling" and "codependency" means. "some people act like the world revolves around them but it doesnt and its just about time that they realize it. " That describes your brother to a T.

john
991
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john 06/05/09 - 12:58 pm
0
0
well wild, alot of people

well wild, alot of people actually make it home after work at 5 pm on a weekday, but Lucy, a friend of mine, didnt. Im glad he feels remorse, but having those chemicals changed an accident into a crime so get over it. Lucy worked hard had many friends and loving family and didnt deserve to be pulverized in a wreck going home from work.

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