By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Man gets 18 years for hitting deputy with car
Placeholder Image

Chanju Dryden got a second trial, but the end result was the same.

Dryden, 31, was sentenced to 18 years in prison after being found guilty for the second time of striking and seriously injuring a Hall County deputy with his car, Hall County District Attorney Lee Darragh said Friday.

A jury found Dryden guilty of aggravated assault on a police officer for striking and injuring Hall County Sheriff’s Deputy Mark Thomason during an undercover drug bust.

The case was retried this week in Hall County Superior Court. Judge Kathlene Gosselin’s sentence was the same as before: 30 years, with 18 to serve in prison and the remainder on probation.

Last year, the Georgia Supreme Court overturned Dryden’s 2007 convictions for aggravated assault and serious injury by motor vehicle/reckless driving, saying the jury’s verdict was "mutually exclusive," meaning a guilty verdict on one count logically excludes a finding of guilt on the other.

The high court noted that aggravated assault can be intentional or unintentional, while reckless driving is a charge based on criminal negligence, not an intentional act.

Prosecutors argued this week that during an undercover drug bust at the Citgo Kangaroo on E.E. Butler Parkway, Dryden steered his Mitsubishi Gallant at the deputy while trying to flee.

Thomason was pinned between two cars in a collision that shattered his left leg. He was hospitalized for 12 days and had five surgeries.

Regional events