Mr. Heaton was charged with two counts of Felony DUI with Death and with two counts of Possession of a Controlled Substance as a result of this incident. On March 10, 2003 Mr. Heaton pled guilty on the day of his trial to two counts of Felony DUI with Death, and was sentenced by Judge Cordell Maddox to 20 years on each with those sentences to run consecutively. He was also sentenced to two years apiece on the two related Possession of Controlled Substance charges and those were to run concurrently with his 40 year sentence. Mr. Heaton submitted a request for post conviction relief, and on November 15, 2007 Judge John C. Hayes held a post conviction relief hearing.
However, after reviewing the availability of witnesses, the evidentiary issues in the case, and the likelihood of success of a conviction at trial, we determined that a plea offer of time served was the only option we had. This was a carefully weighed decision. The parents of both victims, the husband of Angela Carter, and sibling of Vanissa Rehfeldt were notified of our decision prior to the plea. They were spoken with regarding the reasoning behind the State's decision, and were given the opportunity to address the Court during the entering of the guilty plea.
On September 9, 2002 in Anderson County at the intersection of Wooten Road and Old Dobbins Bridge Road a Buick Sentry being driven by Thomas Chad Heaton struck a Mazda 626 being driven by Vanissa Rehfeldt on the driver's side door of the Mazda.
in a 55 mile per hour speedzone.
Mr. Heaton admitted to investigators that he had consumed a six pack of beer earlier in the day. His blood alcohol level was revealed through SLED testing to be a .077, and he had diazepam, nordiazepam, temazepam, oxazepam, and lorazepam in his system as well. Angela Carter was declared deceased at the scene of the collision. Vanissa Rehfelt was air lifted to Greenville Memorial Hospital where she was taken off of life support eleven days after the collision.
He pled guilty to two counts of Felony DUI with Death, which is categorized as a violent and serious crime. Every safeguard was put into place by the State to ensure that there would be legal finality to this tragic saga for these families. It is our hope that they can continue the long process of healing with closure of the criminal case.
In order to avoid any further issues with the defendant revisiting his decision to plead guilty, the State had Mr. Heaton and defense counsel sign an acknowledgement of rights form which was made a part of the record of the most recent plea.
On December 27, 2007 Judge Hayes granted the defendant's request for post conviction relief. The office of the Attorney General appealed Judge Hayes' decision on January 4, 2008.
miles per hour prior to impact, and at the time of impact his vehicle was traveling 63 miles per hour. This occurred Nike Tank Tops
When Mr. Heaton pled guilty on December 10, 2013 he was sentenced to time served, which was 4,110 days, or 11 years, 3 months and 1 day.
10th Circuit Solicitor Chrissy Adams' Statement
Great lengths were taken by the Highway Patrol and my Office to gather as much of the original evidence as was available, including going through the MAIT archives in Columbia to find negatives of the photographs of the original accident scene.
affirming the trial Court's order granting post conviction relief. The Supreme Court later granted Certiorari but subsequently dismissed the Writ of Certiorari as improvidently granted on June 12, 2013.
Upon receiving notice of the remittitur my Office began attempting to gather information and recreate the original case file in an attempt to evaluate the likelihood of successful prosecution of the charges. The Solicitor's original case file was retrieved and reviewed. A request was made to the original investigating agency, the Highway Patrol, for their original case file as well. At that time it was determined that their original case file was no longer available and that the physical Nike Sleeveless Top evidence relating to this case had been disposed of following the first disposition of the case. Prior to 2008, the Highway Patrol policy was that once a case had been adjudicated disposal of the evidence could occur after 90 days had passed following the disposition. In 2008, this policy was changed to reflect a new law requiring that the Highway Patrol maintain any files and evidence pertaining to a death case until the defendant's sentence was completed. Unfortunately, Mr. Heaton's case had been adjudicated prior to the change in that policy, hence the disposal of the original file and evidence.
On June 28, 2013 the Anderson Clerk of Court received notice of remittitur of the case. Remitting the case effectively vacated the defendant's earlier pleas and voided his original sentences completely. The original indictments were reinstated and the defendant was granted a new trial, meaning the charges were to be treated as if they had been freshly received by the Tenth Circuit Solicitor's Office.
On October 4, 2011 the Court of Appeals heard arguments, and they entered an unpublished opinion on October 13, 2011 Nike Sweaters For Girls Black
Angela Carter was the front seat passenger in the Mazda. Seated behind her was a family friend Bobby Woodchoski, and seated behind Ms. Rehfeldt was Angela Carter's daughter. Accident reconstruction by the MAIT team determined that Mr. Heaton had been traveling at 81 Nike Shorts Gray
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