Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Emotions High at DUI Sentencing Pedestrian Fatality Nets 6-Month Term

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Emotions High at DUI Sentencing Pedestrian Fatality Nets 6-Month Term

Article excerpt

Scotty Garland walked his little sister to school. He was the guy her friends had a crush on -- the big brother who taught her a lesson after she tossed a classmate's sandwich to the ground.

Garland, 45, was killed in June when a Jeep Wrangler driven by Jennifer Marie Turner struck Garland as he crossed Roosevelt Boulevard with friends about 2:30 one Sunday morning.

"I know I'll never be fully recovered," Lisa Garland told 22-year-old Turner, who pleaded guilty to drunken driving yesterday. "The blood you rinsed from your blouse was priceless to me."

County Court Judge Brent Shore sentenced Turner to six months in jail, one year of probation, one year license revocation, a $500 fine, and 50 hours community service for her first DUI conviction.

She was also ordered to attend a Mother's Against Drunk Driving victims' impact panel and write a letter to Garland's family.

Leila Garland, Scotty's wife of 23 years, and daughter Jessica wept as Lisa Garland spoke to a courtroom filled with people wearing handcuffs and shackles as they awaited their arraignments. Some of the prisoners blinked back tears, and Turner dabbed her eyes with a tissue.

"I love my brother, Scotty. I miss him," Garland said.

Family members initially didn't understand why Turner was not charged with DUI manslaughter, a felony that carries up to 15 years in prison.

Prosecutor Mark Borello and defense attorney Mark Miller each said drunken driving cases with fatalities that do not result in a DUI manslaughter charge are unusual, perhaps one in 20.

But it was proper in Turner's case, who received the maximum sentence, Miller and Borello said. Investigators did not find evidence that excessive speed, weaving or impairment caused the crash, Borello said.

"The law is clear that for a felony charge you have to prove that the defendant was at fault for the crash," Borello said. …

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