Aiken Standard (Newspaper) - January 13, 2011, Aiken, South Carolina
Full forecast 16C
Vol. 145, No. 13'lour Local Sourer > taco l<S(>7 50tf
-........... www.aikenstandard.com--------- ■ - - ;Aftermath of a Tragedy8A
Felony DU I charge said to have "teeth’
Two weeks after a horrific car crash that killed two college sweethearts and landed a third man in jail - facing felony Dill charges — the tragedy has stayed fresh for many in the community. While some debate the legal side of the case against Stephen Corley, others look toward the future, seeking ways to carry on the memohes of Katie Scott and Alex Bush.
Scholarships honor lives lost
More on felony OUI
The DUI law can also be applied when there is great bodily injury, which the state defines as creating a substantial risk of death or causing serious, permanent disfigurement or protracted loss of or impairment of the function of a bodily member or organ.
A person convicted of felony DUI with great bodily injury faces imprisonment of 10 years.
cations director foi the Attorney General's office, said solicitors throughout the sate use the felony DUI charge frequently.
"Wliatever you choose to call it, the end result is the same," Plow den said. “All you are really talking about is a difference in title - what we have is a good strong tool."
Local law enforcement officers use the felony Dill and reckless dm mg statutes when they arrest a motorist for “gross negligence," police said.
Gross negligence could be driving while impaired or reckless dm mg. explained Lt. Hen Harm, a veteran officer who has worked on the C ity’s accident reconstruction team for the past six years.
A reckless driver may not be under the influence of alcohol, but if conv icted of reckless homicide, a driver can face IO years in prison.
11 arm said officers can often tell the exact speed of the motorist and look for a number of other f actors to determine if the driver was acting in a reckless manner.
In December, Aiken l*ublic Safety charged a Columbia man with reckless homicide tm allegations he caused a head-on collision that clanned the life of an Aiken County man in late October.
Please see FELONY, page 10A
By ROB NOVIT
When he arrived at USC Aiken in HOOS, Alexander Bash fully intended to transfer to another college atter two years.
That never happened. I Ie appreciated his professors and the university and stayed on to graduate with im English degree in 2009.
Similarly, his longtime girlfriend, Katie Scott, had a great experience at Aiken Technical College to start her college career.
Shortly before the new year, Bush, 24, and Scott, 22, were driving on S.C. Highway 302 when a car crossed the median and struck them head-on. Bush was killed at the scene, and Scott died the next day at the Medical College of Georgia.
Bush was in his second year of law school at the Charleston School of Law, while Scott was study ing theater at the College of Charleston.
Their legacies already include organ donations. Now they also will have college scholarships in their names The Scott family has established the Katie Scott Memorial Education Scholarship at Aiken Technical College through the ATC Foundation. Bush’s family has created the Alexander Bush Memorial Scholarship Fund at USC A.
“We just had to have something for her," I lolly Scott said of her older sister. “We don’t w ant lier to be forgotten, and in this way, she will continue to help people.”
Bush’s grandmother, Joyce Ross, said she and her family have long-standing connections to ESCA.
“He embraced it there and succeeded there,” she said. “We immediately thought of a USC Aiken scholarship.”
Alex and Katie were terrific young people w ith a love of learning, said his mother, Sheryl Bush, who hopes to have her son’s scholarship endowed permanently The Bush family has yet to set the criteria for that award
By KAREN DAILY
A fatal crash and subsequent arrest of a Salley man has generated tremendous debate on the charges levied against the driver. Steven
Corley Corky. 3K.
was charged w ith two counts of felony DUI on allegations he was under the influence of alcohol when he caused a headon collision that led to the deaths of two area college students on Dec. 29. Many readers and web commenter* have called for charges of “vehicular homicide" or “vehicular manslaughter" charges. However, iii South C arolina, there is no vehicular manslaughter or vehicular homicide charge, but the distinction is just a matter of semantics, said Solicitor J. Strom Thurmond.
I Ie said the law, which carries with it a possibility of 25 years in prison for each count, has "teeth."
The solicitor did not speak on the specifics of any case; however, Stephen Corley, who is charged with two counts of felony DUI with death, could be sentenced to spend the next 50 years behind bars, if com icted. In such a conv iction, the state would require he serve 85 percent of his sentence.
The state statute in place gives state solicitors the tools they need to prosecute, Thurmond explained.
Additionally, the state has the added ability to charge someone w ith murder, voluntary manslaughter or involuntary manslaughter depending on how the v chicle is used in a death.
“A vehicle can be used as a deadly weapon,” he explained.
A person who gets behind the wheel and intentionally mas ov er another person could face a murder charge, he explained.
Mark Plow den, communi-
Scholarships have been set up by the families of Alex Bush, left and Katie Scott at USC Aiken and Aiken Technical College, respectively.
Want to contribute?
► To donate to the Alexander Bush Memorial Scholarship Fund, a check may be made to the Aiken Partnership and sent to the USC Aiken Advancement Office. 471 University Parkway, Aiken 29801. For additional information, contact Dr. Deidre Martin at 641-3448 or at [email protected]
► To donate to the Katie Scott Memorial Education Scholarship, send a check to the Aiken Technical College Foundation. P.O. Drawer 696, Aiken 29802. For more information, call ATC Foundation director Mary Commons at 593-9954, ext. 1332.
The Scott Memorial will provide $500 for a student over two semesters. To be eligible. a student must be an Aiken I ligh graduate and be enrolled full-time in AFC’s university transfer program, pursuing a K-12 education and maintaining a 2.5 CPA.
"We were honored they
thought of us,” said ATC Foundation director Mary Commons. “We’re going to help out w uh a letter campaign to the Scott family and friends and let them know this scholarship has been established. We have a transfer agreement with USI A. That will work out perfectly for students to finish
their education degrees there " Dr. Deidre Martin, a USCA vice chancellor, became friends with Ross through Ross support of the university. While at the college, Bush occasionally stopped by Martin’s office to say "hello.”
Please see TRAGEOY, page 10A
Homer E. Bishop,
Jimmie Ray Combee Sr., Aiken
Alice R.B. Arowood,
Williston Mary C. Dickert,
Wilma Mae West Shelby,
Deaths and Funerals 16A
Dear Abby _____
By JIM DAVENPORT
COLUMBIA - Republican Nikki Haley made history Wednesday by becoming the first woman and first minority to run South Carolina and quickly entwined the conservative political movement that helped elect her with the state’s fiercely independent past.
“Let’s see: tax protests, tea parnes, the grass roots beating the professionals - it does have a certain familiar ring to it,” Haley said during a brief inaugural address that forecast un administration aiming to buck federal mandates and cut government spending.
With her husband holding a Bible and their two chil- * dren by her side, I laky took the oath to become the state’s 90th governor thanks in large part to an outpouring of support from tea party groups and an endorsement from former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palm.
Beginning her first speech as governor with a brief his
tory lesson, she told how the state’s residents dumped tea into Charleston Harbor in 1777 and South Carolina declared its own independence four months before the Declaration of Independence. Now facing high unemployment and an $829 million budget hole, she blamed the state’s modem woes on Washington.
“Nearly two years ago, the federal government in Washington decided to transfer its irresponsible fiscal practices to the, states. And our state, just like every other, accepted it,” Haley said. “When we produce this year’s budget, we will see the heavy price for hav mg done so."
Haley and most of the other dignitaries in the crowd wore overcoats against the cold snap that brought snow and ice earlier in the week, shutting down government and delaying some of the inaugural festivities. Haley’s husband, Michael, an Army
National Guard officer, wore his military dress uniform.
Lawmakers, judges, former governors and choirs packed the State House steps for the ceremonies. Outgoing Ciov. Mark Sanford, term-linnted alter eight years in office, escorted I laky from the Capitol door to the landing w here she took the oath administered by Chief Justice Jean Toal.
India’s ambassador to the U.S., Meera Shankar, and Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour also attended.
Haley, a 38-year-old former state representative, mostly downplayed her gender and her Indian-American heritage during her campaign. In her speech, however, she thanked her parents, who immigrated to the U S, and moved to Bamberg before she was born, and referenced challenges they faced.
Please see HALEY, page 10A
South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley and former Gov. Mark Sanford make their way during the inaugural ceremony on Wednesday.
the theme at Haley’s inauguration
See more inauguration coverage on page 7A