The Charleston Post and Courier is reporting:
Circuit Judge Thomas Houghston sentenced Amy McCormick to 10 years in jail Thursday (July 16, 2009) for the deadly head-on crash that killed Brett Maynard.
The sentence followed an emotional hour in which McCormick and Maynard's family talked about how that tragic November night changed their lives.
Maynard, 35, of James Island was killed and his wife, Jill was injured in the crash in the westbound lanes of the James Island Connector. McCormick was going in east in the westbound lane. She was charged with two counts of felony DUI and one count of child endangerment.
More details from the Charleston Post and Courier, 10 Years for Chef's Death. Where you can read countless comments condemning the Judge for handing out what most consider a weak and not nearly harsh enough sentence.
While the torch toting, pitchfork, and club carrying crowd have encircled the court house with a lynch mob mentality, it is clear to Cedar Posts that McCormick got a raw deal.
Although many consider anything less than a life sentence inadequate, the law clearly differentiates between murder and manslaughter.
McCormick's court appointed attorney Ted Smith, should be ashamed of his performance. Ms. McCormick has without a doubt received little if any legal representation. It may be she only wanted to "get it over with" which many defendants feel is all they can do.
In fairness to Mr. Smith his client was facing up to 25 years and considering the case, including her history, he may have had little choice but to have her plead guilty all the charges.
McCormick is guilty, yet there is still no reason for her to appear before the judge shackled, in a prison jumpsuit and looking disheveled.
CORRECTION: Cedar Posts has over looked the fact that in South Carolina once a defendant has entered a guilty plea and has not posted bond that the court is under no obligation to allow the defendant to appear in anything but prison attire.
Cedar Posts has been told that Mr. Smith offered nothing to the Judge except the usual defense rhetoric stating that his client accepts full responsibility.
It is Cedar Posts opinion that what transpired yesterday was the result of inept and ineffective counsel. This is not to be construed as an attack on Mr. Smith as much as it is an attack of the system that has failed us.
McCormick's husband who did not attend the sentencing should be equally ashamed.
And while the rest of us go on about life, enjoying our weekend Ms. McCormick will continue to live a life of rot that she started long ago and Ms. Maynard will endure a life of lost hopes and dreams.
It is Cedar Posts opinion that after one year of prison the rest will accomplish nothing and do nothing but destroy another life.
No amount of punishment will bring Brett Maynard back.
No amount of punishment will rebuild Amy McCormick’s life.
No amount of punishment will restore Jill Maynard’s dreams.
We have failed them all.
Prior Cedar Posts:
Drunk Driver Murders Young Husband
Tragic James Island Connector Accident Facts Slowly Revealed