Wednesday, April 22, 2009

I guess drinking and driving and killing someone is NOT a crime!

Donald Wood of High Springs, Florida had a blood alcohol level of .22, nearly three times the legal limit, when he slammed into Kyle Ford's bike, throwing Kyle off of it and killing him .

FHP investigated it, the Assistant State Attorney Andrea Muirheard made a judgment call and 9 months later, Donald Wood, a man who clearly does not respect vehicle safety laws, walked away a free man. Asst State Attorney Muirheard concluded there was not enough evidence to charge Donald Wood with a felony count of DUI Manslaughter.

I thought drinking and driving was a crime. I thought that killing someone in the midst of committing a crime was a very serious offense with very serious penalties. Apparently not.

Donald Wood's case was treated as a "traffic case" not a "criminal case" and received 90 days in the county jail, of which 60 can be served in a residential rehab facility, one year driver license suspension, 1 year probation and 100 hours community service.

This guy should be behind bars. How many DUIs does it take to get these people off the road for good?

That's the penalty for drinking and driving and killing someone.

I don't blame Judge Philman, he probably did the best he could given the charge. But I do blame the Assistant State Attorney who handled the case and the FHP as well.


  1. Anonymous4/26/2009

    YES!! We live in Gilchrist County and the young man killed attended the same high school as my daughter. The kids were so distraught over it and still are. Next election there is ONE judge who WILL NOT be getting my vote. What was he thinking? How horrible. I think he needs to step down from office. However he has been the judge over here for so long he is like everyones grandfather and no one will go against him out of respect. Killing a child is NOT OK...It sent the wrong message out that you can come to our county and kill someone and get away with it.

  2. Hi Anonymous, I am so glad you're here. At first I wanted to blame Judge Philman but then I had to sit back and wonder what kind of parameters he had to deal with. He can't give a life sentence for a misdemeanor. And so we have to ask ourselves...what in hell was the State's Attorney's office THINKING here? The records are available to the public, I'd love to see them and find out WHAT evidence they did have that wasn't strong enough to warrant a felony manslaughter charge? I mean---he was THREE times the legal limit. Are they saying that Kyle Ford did run his bike out in front of Donald Wood and that Wood would have had NO time to react even if he were sober--thus the alcohol had nothing to do with it????

    The family of Kyle Ford gets no peace over this verdict and our hearts go out to them in their loss.