Man convicted of killing woman in DUI wreck has sentenced reduced

Published: Jul. 17, 2013 at 9:46 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 17, 2013 at 11:32 PM EDT
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Samuel McCauley
Samuel McCauley

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - A 20-year-old man convicted of killing a 72-year-old woman in a DUI car wreck may get out of prison in five years after his sentence was reduced.

On Wednesday, officials with the Ninth Circuit Solicitors office say they have filed to reopen sentencing for Samuel McCauley, after prosecutors say they were not notified of a reduced sentence for McCauley that happened in May.

According to prosecutors, the court signed an amended sentencing sheet on May 20 which reduced McCauley's original sentence of 10 years in prison to five years. McCauley was originally sentenced to 10 years in January after pleading guilty to reckless homicide and felony DUI for the July 24, 2011 incident that killed 72-year-old Eleanor Caperton.

The prosecutor's office said McCauley's original sentence was slashed in half, and McCauley and the state were not notified of the reduced sentences.

"The court's approach to re-sentencing the Defendant threatens the integrity of our criminal justice system," Ninth Circuit Solicitor Scarlett Wilson stated in the motion."The court did not preserve and protect the victims' rights to justice and due process and could not be considered as treating the victims with fairness, respect and dignity."

Prosecutors in the case said McCauley intended to get drunk and had to be held accountable for his actions.

According to court officials, McCauley had been drinking heavily on July 24, 2011 during a party on a boat at a marina before the deadly accident. McCauley's blood alcohol level was .209 at the time of the accident, according to authorities.

Investigators say McCauley's car was going the wrong way on I-26 early near downtown Charleston just after midnight when the incident happened.

According to police, McCauley's Nissan Maxima then crashed into a Honda Civic driven by Caperton. Prosecutors say McCauley was traveling 60 mph in a 35 mph zone at the time of the impact.

Both drivers were transported to the Medical University of South Carolina for multiple injuries. Police say Caperton, of Ladson, died as a result of her injuries at the hospital.

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