A former school board member and bank president from Marshall County was sentenced this week for a 2005 DUI accident that sent a 16-yeal-old girl to the hospital with life threatening injuries. Conrad Hamilton, 65, who pled guilty this past March to felony assault, ran a stop sign at Alabama 69 and Fourth Street NE on Christmas Eve and smashed into the vehicle in which Tiffany Hill was riding.
The accident left the Arab High School student unconscious and on full life support with severe brain injuries. According to reports, she was in the hospital for three weeks, 10 of those in the ICU. Upon returning home, her parents noticed a tremendous change in the girl. Her brain trauma had left her with the mental capacity of a seven-year-old and required her to be on medication to prevent seizures.
Because of the accident, Hill missed the second half of her sophomore year and had to repeat the grade, as well as enroll in special education classes. According to recent reports, she still has some short-term memory loss and although she graduated high school, she has a hard time with reading and comprehension. She also experiences bad headaches everyday.
I’ve counseled clients who have been injured due to someone else’s negligence and the stories are too sad to relate. Many times, the penalties that our legal system hands out are insufficient from the family’s standpoint. This is why it is so important to retain a skilled legal professional. As an experienced Birmingham personal injury attorney, I aggressively represent my clients to the utmost of my abilities.
In this case, the judge said he had a difficult decision to make, because the defendant was not only remorseful, but also a respected member of the community. Nevertheless, Mr. Hamilton made a conscious choice to drive drunk that December night and the judge let that fact, along with the young victim’s extensive injuries, guide his decision.
In the end, the judge sentenced Hamilton to a suspended six-year jail term with the Alabama Department of Corrections; three years probation; six months in the county jail; 500 hours of community service; fines and court costs; and an order to complete a Marshall County Court Referral program.
The judge also added another 12-month jail sentence at the end of Hamilton's probation, saying that whether or not Hamilton has to serve the additional 12 months would depend on his conduct during the probationary period.
It’s a shame that the victim and her family had to wait three years for closure in this case, yet their pain will continue regardless of the punishment the court recently handed down, which is why I have made it my mission to help clients with similar personal injury stories.
Hamilton sentenced to six months in the Marshall County Jail, TheArabTribune.com, June 8, 2009