Calling it a “totally tragic situation,” Superior Court Judge Bonnie Oliver sentenced Ruby Marie Marshall to two years in confinement for vehicular homicide.
“Two families have suffered,” Oliver said, speaking of Marshall’s family and the family of Jerald Benjamin Freeman, 47, of Cornelia.
Freeman was thrown from his motorcycle in October 2014 after veering off of Pea Ridge Road in Lula when Marshall crossed the center line. Marshall was convicted Oct. 20 of first-degree vehicular homicide.
During testimony, the defendant’s son John Marshall told the court of his mother’s health issues as well as her loving nature.
“She’s my No. 1,” he said. “She’s always there for me.”
Niece Mitzi Deaton read a letter aloud to the judge that was “respectfully seeking mercy” from the court for a lower sentence. Deaton asked Oliver to consider what Marshall could “give back to our family and society if given a second chance.”
Instead of further incarceration, defense attorney Benjamin Bagwell asked the court for a punishment involving house arrest and probation.
Marshall was convicted on all six charges Oct. 20, which included second-degree vehicular homicide, reckless driving, failure to maintain lane and hit and run.
When giving his recommendation for sentencing, Assistant District Attorney Hugh Hamilton said Marshall has not shown any acceptance of responsibility for the incident.
“She still doesn’t think she did anything wrong,” he said.
Oliver handed down a 10-year sentence on the first-degree vehicular homicide charge, with the first two years to be served in confinement. The rest will be served on probation.