|First-time offender gets 10 years for DUI manslaughter|
|The Press - News|
|Written by Joel Addington|
|Thursday, 05 July 2012 14:50|
A drunk driver involved in an accident that killed one passenger and left another in a wheelchair was sentenced to 10 years in prison last week during an emotional hearing at the courthouse.
David Kia Starling, 23, of Macclenny will receive 312 days credit on his sentence for DUI manslaughter, which was ordered by Judge Phyllis Rosier on June 26.
He’ll serve five years of drug offender probation following his release and his driver’s license was permanently revoked as well.
Mr. Starling was at the wheel of a pick-up truck speeding down Arnold Rhoden Road the evening of October 5, 2010 when he lost control and flipped the vehicle.
The suspect’s blood alcohol level, measured after the wreck, was .12 and above the .08 level the state consider’s intoxicated. A number of open and closed beers were found at the scene by authorities among the truck’s other contents.
Mr. Starling’s two passengers, Cyndle Ireland and Sierra Williams, were ejected from the truck. Ms. Ireland died at the scene while Ms. Williams was seriously injured.
Last week Ms. Williams and her mother, Marlene Griffin, begged the judge to avoid prison time for Mr. Starling, who did not have a previous criminal record. Witnesses said he was remorseful at the scene and attended Ms. Ireland’s funeral, where he tearfully apologized to her family in person.
“I don’t believe I’m a victim,” Ms. Williams wrote in a letter to the Judge Rosier. “I believe ‘accomplice’ would be a better word ... We are all three to blame and I know that all three of us have gotten punished in different ways.”
Court records show she, Ms. Ireland and Mr. Starling were long-time friends in school and graduated the same year in 2007. They had parted ways but reunited prior to the accident.
Prosecutors dropped charges of vehicular homicide and DUI with injury or property damage. The defendant is prohibited from contact with Ms. Ireland’s family while incarcerated, unless they initiate it.
In other sentencings from the June 26 court docket:
• A Macclenny woman pled no contest to exploiting the elderly and credit card fraud in exchange for an 18-month sentence in prison followed by two years on probation.
Registered nurse Tiffany L. Quinn, 22, was taking care of the victim, Amy Swisher, last February when the 83-year-old woman’s pastor and estate executor contacted police about suspicious charges to her missing credit card’s account.
Upon questioning by investigators, the defendant admitted to purchasing $500 Rascal Flats concert tickets, an iPad, laptop computer and gym membership without the victim’s knowledge.
Ms. Quinn will receive 132 days credit for time served at county jail and the state agreed to drop two counts of grand theft as part of the plea deal.
• Genaro Louis Harris, 26, of Eastwood Road in Macclenny was given 18 months of drug offender probation for his no contest pleas to possession and sale of a controlled substance.
Mr. Harris allegedly sold $120 worth of the prescription drug Aderall, an amphetamine, to an undercover informant working with the sheriff’s office in December, 2011 at his residence.
He also pleaded to a misdemeanor battery charge stemming from a fight with a pregnant female at Mac’s Liquor’s in November of the same year. Mr. Harris was originally charged with aggravated battery in that case.
• Carol Ann Parker, 21, also of Eastwood Road in the city, was sentenced to 11 months in county jail, minus 91 days credit, in return for her no contest plea to sale of a controlled substance and possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell. The defendant allegedly sold $180 worth of oxycodone to a undercover informant in the Walmart parking lot on SR 228 S. last March.
• Miranda Lee Brady, 37, of Jacksonville pleaded no contest to introducing contraband into a state correctional facility in exchange for a 367-day prison sentence with 40 days credit for time served.
Her probation was revoked as well.
During a K-9 sweep of the parking lot at Baker Correctional Institute during visitation hours in April, 2010, officers uncovered marijuana in the defendant’s vehicle.
• Nathaniel S. Strachan, IV received two years house arrest, followed by one year probation and 50 hours community service for an arrest in June, 2011 for multiple counts of possession of marijuana with intent to sell.
• John Daniel Hart II, 24, no address indicated, was sentenced to 11 months in county jail, minus 90 days credit, for one count of dealing in stolen property.
The defendant allegedly stole a $300 eBook reader from Carol Tharpe last March and was arrested a day later while attempting to pawn the property, which had been reported stolen by the victim.
Mr. Hart was originally charged with two counts of dealing in stolen property and petty theft.
• George Brian Rhoden, 54, of Macclenny was given a one year probation in exchange for his plea to resisting an officer without violence.
Upon returning to his riverfront campground on May 13, Mr. Rhoden allegedly brandished a .38 caliber revolver to a Jacksonville canoeist who had stopped there to charge his cell phone and refill water bottles. After police arrived, Mr. Rhoden disobeyed orders to keep his hands off the gun, which had been stored before they arrived, police reports indicate.
Mr. Rhoden was initially charged with resisting arrest, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer. The later two charges, both dropped, are felonies.
• Cameron Nelson Hicks, 21, of Sanderson pleaded no contest to aggravated assault in return for three years probation and six months house arrest, though Judge Rosier withheld adjudication in the case.
Mr. Hicks was originally charged with lewd and lascivious battery on a victim between 12-16 years old in connection with an alleged rape in December, 2009.
|Last Updated on Friday, 13 July 2012 18:00|