Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Eight-Year Sentence in Hit-and-Run; Judge Decides on Punishment in Case of Crash That Killed Pilot

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Eight-Year Sentence in Hit-and-Run; Judge Decides on Punishment in Case of Crash That Killed Pilot

Article excerpt

Byline: Bridget Murphy

In the end, the scales of justice settled as they did because of one question: Why did Greg Jacobs flee?

Why did he leave the scene of the November 2010 crash in Atlantic Beach that killed Navy Lt. Robert Huish?

In sentencing Jacobs to eight years in prison, Circuit Judge Adrian Soud said he believed it was a guilty conscience that made Jacobs drive away after a collision with Huish's bicycle.

Whether possibly drunk or speeding, Soud said the now 30-year-old's actions then and in the days that followed added up to the punishment he meted out Monday.

"Panic subsides, and when panic subsides, conscience should kick in," the Jacksonville judge said. "Rather than conscience kicking in, a plan was engaged."

Soud recapped Jacobs' Friday testimony about how the defendant partly dismantled his sport-utility vehicle, while hiding it in his garage to conceal evidence after the crash.

Police arrested Jacobs more than a week later after a tipster turned detectives onto his trail. He had faced up to 15 years in prison after pleading no contest to a charge of leaving the scene of a crash involving death.

Huish died less than a week following the crash after suffering injuries that included a skull fracture. Testimony showed the 26-year-old helicopter pilot was legally intoxicated and went through a stop sign before impact. Both the defendant and victim had been out drinking with friends before their paths crossed.

Police never could test Jacobs for intoxication because he fled, although he said in court he drank four or five beers that night.

Soud said he greatly considered requests for maximum incarceration from Huish's loved ones. He also recounted testimony about Jacobs as a man with a job, no criminal record and a history of community involvement that included serving the poor and acting as football team captain and senior class president at Fletcher High. …

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