The North Carolina Court of Appeals has decided that a convicted felon will remain behind bars for killing two cyclists. The fatal accident occurred in 2011 when the driver of the car hit a man and his son as they were riding their bikes. The prosecution showed that he was under the influence of bath salts and alcohol at the time of the incident.
The offender was charged with two counts of second degree murder and two counts of death by motor vehicle. Both of those charges are felony offenses. In addition, he was also charged with reckless driving and open container. The defense brought the appeal on the grounds that the previous judge may have made a mistake by admitting evidence of the defendant's previous drinking habits.
The appeals court determined that the judge in the earlier trial was not incorrect and upheld the previous ruling. The case resulted in a 24-30 years of prison time for the defendant, and the prosecuting attorney told reporters that the man is likely to spend the rest of his life in prison. He also asserted that the ruling was an important precedent for future cases involving similar circumstances.
The victims of this drunk driving accident stretch beyond the two people who died; the family of the men who died were left to deal with the emotional stress and the financial cost of the funerals. The family members might be entitled to compensation from the defendant in order to cover those costs. Although a loved one can never be replaced, a personal injury attorney might be able to help the victims regain some of their financial losses.
Source: WWAY, "Appeals court upholds Grooms conviction", October 01, 2013