Gerald Herbert / AP
Columbia, South Carolina — Former lieutenant in South Carolina, a police van was flooded in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence. Drowning two women Seeking mental health treatment trapped in a cage behind was sentenced to 18 years in prison on Thursday.
A jury trial in Marion County has admitted that former Holly County deputy Stephen Flood was found guilty of two involuntary mansions and two reckless murders.
The judge ordered Wendy Newton, 45, and Nicolet Green, 43, to be hospitalized involuntarily on the day they died, but their families said they were not violent. Said. Newton just sought medicine for fear and anxiety, and Green’s family said she was engaged in a mental hospital with regular mental health appointments by a counselor she had never seen before. rice field.
After the flood, 70, was sentenced about 30 minutes after the verdict, saying that his decision to move forward on the shortest route to several female relatives left an uncorrectable hole in their lives.
“This was a deliberate act initiated by a dignified and stubborn man,” Green’s sister Donella Green Johnson told the judge. “He abused the trust my sister, Nikki, Wendy, and South Carolina had entrusted to him, and for what? To save time.”
Judge William Shields of the Circuit Court was sentenced to five years in prison for manslaughter and four years in prison for reckless murder, and was ordered to serve in a row.
The floods wiped police vans from the wheels and fixed them to guardrails to keep women out of the sliding doors they used to enter the vans.According to testimony from the shed trial, the flood and his agent did not have the key to the second door and there was no emergency escape hatch. WMBF-TV..
The agent said the water continued to rise before the water became too dangerous to hear the rescuer’s voice, so he spoke to the woman and tried to calm her for about an hour.
“How terrible it must have been to sit there and wait for his death?” Attorney Ed Clements said in closing arguments Thursday.
Prosecutors blame former lieutenant’s decision to drive in the water
Other factors such as emergency radio that did not inform the rescuer of the exact location of the van contributed to the death, but Clements said that all drowning was a flood of driving two miles (3.2 kilometers) in the water. He said it arose from a reckless decision.
The National Guard installed a barricade on US Highway 76, just outside Nichols, but the floods drove around them after a brief discussion with the soldiers.
Clements read from a flood statement that he felt he couldn’t look back because he was worried that when he went underwater, he would lose sight of the edge of the freeway and hit a ditch hidden in the water.
“It may have hurt his pride and stubbornness. I don’t know. Not only did he stand in a tall puddle, but he hurriedly pushed across the guardrail into the water. Until then, it was all on the Little Pedy River, “Clements said.
Former deputy lawyer says other factors have led to death
Flood lawyers said it was a terrible tragedy, but others were trying to unfairly blame only the former lieutenant, not the equipment issue. It was not an emergency to a mental health facility.
“Please resist the urge to give justice to these two women by injusticeing this good man,” said lawyer Jarrett Buchette. “They want to make him a scapegoat for this accident.”
The flood did not testify, but before the ruling was given, the water rose and help arrived late, so he told the judge that he tried everything he could to calm the woman. rice field.
“It was a series of mistakes for me and others and led me to that point. I’m sorry what happened to the girls,” Flood said.
Authorities said the flood and his surrogate Joshua Bishop were eventually rescued from the top of the transport van. Bishop will be tried at a later date for two manslaughter charges.
They tried to shoot the lock down from the second door, but still couldn’t open it. It was also costly to get help late. Firefighters testified that they had cut off the roof of the van and started working on the cage, but the water was getting higher and higher and it was too dangerous to continue.
Charles, Newton’s son, said he hates floods to follow the rules and learn to use common sense at such high prices.
“I can forgive, but I can’t forget. Fortunately, I still remember my mother as a happy woman, a fun woman who loved her family,” he said. .. “But you, Mr. Flood, will remember my mother when she hears her screams behind the van.”
Former lieutenant is 18 years after two women drowned in a locked van: NPR
Source link Former lieutenant is 18 years after two women drowned in a locked van: NPR