Leesburg A confessed drunken driver headed to prison Thursday to serve at least three years of 15 maximum for killing 22-year-old Angela Dunford in January 2007, said a Southwestern Judicial Circuit official.
Roger Hamilton, 40, of Ashboro, N.C., pleaded guilty in December to drunken driving and vehicular homicide, said Chief Assistant District Attorney Lewis Lamb. He asked the judge to sentence Hamilton to serve 10 years, he added.
The sentence was given by Judge Rucker Smith, who was arrested in June for drunken driving, speeding and having an open alcohol container in his car while in Leslie, Sumter Sheriff's Office officials reported. No information on Smith's case was immediately available.
The case against Hamilton was strong, Lamb said. He added Hamilton drank enough to register a .138 on the breath test three and a half hours after the crash on Lee County's Palmyra Road. A reading of .08 is considered over the limit.
The crash threw Dunford from the car and killed her, Lamb said, leaving her 23-month-old son Trey motherless. Hamilton was injured, but recovered.
According to members of Dunford;s family, Hamilton posted information on social media websites about his continued drinking, Lamb said.
"He showed a total lack of remorse," Lamb said. "I have never seen a man whose post-collision conduct was so bad."
Armed with those posts, Dunford's family led Lamb to reopen the case after three years had passed. Lamb said he was uncertain why the case was not prosecuted under the previous district attorney Cecilia Cooper.
The prosecution required Hamilton to be extradited from North Carolina. Lamb's efforts led to a Georgia governor's warrant sent to the North Carolina governor's office asking for Hamilton's custody.
"Hamilton is the most irresponsible man" Lamb said. "He had a prior DUI in Minnesota. He posted a picture of the wreck that killed Dunford on the web with the caption 'It just had to be a Ford LOL.'"