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Motion denied, trial date set in 2012 boating deaths

Bennett faces trial Nov. 4 in deaths of Prince boys last June

POSTED: June 5, 2013 1:03 a.m.

A Hall County Superior Court judge Tuesday denied a motion to dismiss the case against Paul Bennett, who is charged with eight counts of homicide by vessel in a Lake Lanier accident that killed two Buford boys.

Bennett is also charged with boating under the influence, failing to render aid and reckless operation of a vessel in connection with the June 2012 incident that resulted in the deaths of Jake Prince, 9, and Griffin Prince, 13.

Bennett’s attorney, Barry Zimmerman, asserted before Judge Kathlene Gosselin that there was a lack of probable cause for the Georgia Department of Natural Resources to charge Bennett with BUI, saying he had a head injury and prior medical conditions that affected his field sobriety test.

Attorney Amber Sowers, arguing for the state, said the testimony of the DNR ranger to Bennett’s demeanor, field sobriety test results, smell of alcohol and bloodshot eyes gave adequate probable cause for the arrest.

Zimmerman also noted that at 0.1, the legally allowable blood-alcohol content for boating was higher than the standard for driving a motor vehicle. That standard has since been lowered to 0.08 by the Georgia legislature in light of the incident.

At the conclusion of the approximately 3«-hour hearing, a trial date was set for Nov. 4.


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