In a bizarre and tragic DUI case, the grandson of a former Birmingham mayor has been charged with murder after an alcohol-related accident resulted in the death of a Georgia woman. According to local news reports, the 23-year-old defendant from Pelham has been indicted by a grand jury on charges of malice murder, three counts of aggravated assault and felony murder. Court records indicate the young driver was charged after a June 25th accident that resulted in the death of a 53-year-old woman. He has been held without bond since his arrest.
In DUI cases that result in serious personal injury or fatalities, the charges will often extend beyond misdemeanor drinking and driving. In the most serious cases of reckless driving or intentional injury, defendants can face manslaughter or even murder charges. Our Birmingham DUI defense attorneys are experienced in handling even the most complex DUI cases. We understand the potential criminal and personal consequences faced by defendants and will explore every available defense in your case. Our priority is ensuring every defendant gets a fair trial and that no Alabama resident is over-charged or over-penalized for their offenses.
According to authorities, the 53-year-old woman was in the turn lane headed southbound on Highway 5, waiting to turn left. In a collision that had no apparent explanation, the 23-year-old defendant rear-ended the woman’s vehicle. Witnesses said he backed up and then rear-ended her vehicle again. Then witnesses said that he did the same thing for a third time. According to police statements, the woman got out of her car to check for damage, when the defendant slammed her a third time, pinning her between the two vehicles. The woman fell to the ground when he backed up his truck and witnesses said he ran over her, then backed over her again. After running the woman over, the defendant allegedly continued driving for a short distance, up an embankment until he slowed to a stop.
After witnessing the collision and hit-and-run, bystanders took away his keys and detained the driver until law enforcement arrived. Tragically, the 53-year-old woman was killed in front of her daughter and her 4-year-old granddaughter, who were inside the family’s SUV. The indictment alleges the driver killed the woman with malice and caused her death by striking her and running her over with his truck. The defendant also has a history of criminal offenses, but was granted “youthful offender status” in 2009, meaning authorities cannot discuss the prior charges. He was under investigation for harassment in 2011 and has additional charges for traffic violations and criminal mischief on his record.
In this case, the defense has filed several motions on behalf of the defendant. According to the defense, the driver was sober at the time of the accident. The defense is also claiming that the cell phone of the defendant was illegally seized the day of the crash. Defense attorneys claim that the data was illegally obtained and is being wrongfully used in support of a criminal case.