Victim's family issues statement after sentencing in fatal James Island hit-and-run

Victim's family issues statement after sentencing in fatal James Island hit-and-run

JAMES ISLAND, SC (WCSC) - The brother of the man killed in a 2012 James Island hit-and-run released a statement Wednesday after a judge sentenced the driver convicted in the crime.

A judge sentenced former DNR reserve officer Jeffrey Thomas to 40 months of house intensive probation, to be followed by five years of probation, one day after he was convicted of hit-and-run and leaving the scene of an accident with death.

"After two years of fighting for answers to what happened to our brother and son, it was a relief to finally hear the full details of what happened that night. Matthew would have ensured the same for any of us," Andy Denton said. 

Denton's brother Matthew, 40, was killed when Jeffrey Thomas hit Denton with his SUV, investigators said.

"Though the details of the case were contentious, we feared a not guilty verdict would provide others a blueprint of how to get away with DUIs. We are thankful that the jury felt the same. We pray for all parties involved and look forward to healing as a family," Denton said.

The accident happened in August of 2012 on Riverland Drive on James Island. Authorities say Thomas got out and checked on Denton, but then left and didn't return for 30 minutes.

Originally, a judge said there wasn't enough evidence for the case to go to trial. A grand jury disagreed and indicted Thomas after further investigation by the solicitor and the sheriff's office.

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