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DUI driver who doesn't appear at sentencing hearing gets 50 years

A man that failed to make an appearance at his sentencing hearing back in May in his drunk driving case was finally sentenced on Friday, June 9, 2017. The judge imposed the maximum allowable sentence of 50 years in prison for causing the death of two children and three women in the 2014 Oxon Hill crash.

The defendant had been accused of both driving drunk and recklessly when he struck an Acura stopped at the Oxen Hill intersection of Livingston Road and Terrace around 9:40 p.m., on October 10, 2014. The car carried two adult sisters, a 21-year-old, and two minor children at the time. The two kids initially survived the crash, but later succumbed to their injuries at the hospital. The only survivor was the car's driver.

As for the defendant, his blood alcohol concentration (BAC) was taken at the accident scene was 0.14, nearly double Maryland's legal limit. Crash investigators also determined that he had been driving between 50 to 70 mph in a 35 mphs zone at the time of the crash.

After years of legal wrangling, the defendant in the case ultimately pleaded guilty in March to 28 different charges that had been waged against him. Among those, five counts were for negligent manslaughter.

Although prosecutors with the state attorney's office had argued that the man should remain in jail following his plea, the judge in the case decided instead to release him on a $100,000 bond. As a condition of his release, he was supposed to have been fitted with a GPS monitoring device. This never occurred.

He was due to be sentenced in May, yet he failed to show. A warrant was issued for his arrest and posters were distributed throughout the District of Columbia, Virginia, and Maryland asking for the public's help in tracking the man down. An anonymous tip was called in to police. That evening, they discovered him at an Allentown Road hotel in Suitland.

A driving under the influence (DUI) charge generally is accompanied by an immediate suspension of your license. Being charged with drunk driving can impact your ability to land gainful employment as well. If your drunk driving results in the injury or death of another, you may face extended time in jail. A Salisbury, Maryland, DUI attorney can provide you with insight as to an appropriate legal defense in your case.

Source: NBC Washington, "DUI Driver Who Killed 5, Skipped Sentencing Hearing Gets 50 Years," Tracee Wilkins, June 09, 2017

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