CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - A 61-year-old Moncks Corner man has been sentenced to nine years behind bars for felony DUI in connection with an incident that occurred in September 2011.
Samuel Thompson, Jr. changed his mind during the second day of his hearing on Wednesday and entered a plea of guilty on charges of felony driving under the influence that resulted in the death of 77-year-old Margaret Deas.
Police say Thompson crashed into Deas' car on I-26 eastbound near the Rutledge Avenue exit on Sept. 20, 2011 around 1:45 p.m. Officers found two opened mini-bottles of banana schnapps in Thompson's vehicle, and reported Thompson was "acting in an intoxicated manner" at the scene and at the hospital.
According to a report, a blood sample taken from Thompson revealed he had a blood alcohol level of .238, nearly three times the legal limit.
Deas died hours after the accident from internal injuries.
Witnesses testified at the trial Thompson was traveling at a high rate of speed when he began to swerve and hit a guard rail, before crashing into Deas.
At Thompson's bond hearing in Sept. 2011, Deas' daughter expressed sympathy for Thompson's family, but said the 61-year-old needs to change his ways.
"I feel for his family, but my mom isn't coming back," said the victim's daughter. "I pray he will learn from this experience and won't be able to walk around or drive where he want to drive and still be drinking."
Thompson will serve his nine year sentence with the South Carolina Department of Corrections. He is not eligible for parole.