Judge denies youthful offender status in cyclist deaths
May 24, 2008 17:14 EDT
BAY MINETTE, Ala. (AP) -- A Spanish Fort man charged in the alcohol-related traffic deaths of two bicyclists has lost a bid for youthful offender status and faces a trial as an adult.
Baldwin County Circuit Court Judge Charles Partin denied youthful offender status Friday for Patrick Ballard, citing charges Ballard faced as a 17-year-old in a similar 2005 wreck that also killed a bicyclist.
In the latest case, Ballard, now 20, is charged with murder in the deaths of William Frederick Imle, 48, and Archie Leroy Clemons Jr., 46. The two men were riding bikes near Stapleton last September when they were struck and killed.
Prosecutors have said Ballard was up drinking through the night prior to the wreck, and was driving more than 30 mph faster than the 45 mph speed limit when Imle and Clemons were struck.
In 2005, Ballard was charged with manslaughter in the death of Laurence "Larry" McDuff, who had been riding a bike in Fairhope when he was struck by a Jeep Cherokee that Ballard was driving.
In that case, Ballard pleaded guilty to felony leaving the scene of an accident and was sentenced to 190 days at a state Department of Youth Services facility.
Assistant District Attorney Hallie Dixon says Ballard was released in January of 2007, and Imle and Clemons were killed about eight months later.
On Wednesday, the Coast Guard Aviation Training Center will dedicate and open the William Imle Memorial Trail, a biking and hiking path on the Coast Guard base in Mobile.
Cmdr. Imle had retired in 2005 after 23 years of Coast Guard service.
Out of principle, I don't believe anyone should be allowed "youthful offender" status for any crimes related to the adult activities of drinking (when they are under aged) or driving (since children do not legally drive).
Pacific hardtail (frame only right now); Weyless SP (frame/fork right now); Jamis Dakar XLT 1.0 custom build-up (fully functional)
Originally Posted by alhedges
He probably didn't have a license. Unfortunately, people who drink and drive are often not too punctilious when it comes to other traffic requirements.
I remember a metro section of the paper in Atl., back in '92; driver had been pulled over and arrested for his 43rd DUI (!), had long since lost his license, and was quoted as saying, "I will keep driving."
The fact that GA (right next door to AL, where this puke takes up perfectly good air from others) let this fool outside the fences just reinforces my belief in the basic stupidity of those in charge....