North Charleston man sentenced to 10 years in fatal drunk driving crash
A North Charleston man was sentenced to 10 years in prison for drunk driving which led to the death of another driver last year.
Jeffrey Michael Reynolds II, 34, pleaded guilty to felony DUI involving a death in Charleston County court Wednesday morning. Along with the prison sentence, Reynolds was ordered to pay a fine of $10,100.
Reynolds was driving west on Interstate 526 at I-26 on March 24, 2011 about 1 a.m. when he hit a vehicle from behind, authorities said. The driver of the car that was struck, Terrance Gadsden, 44, of Charleston, was rushed to the hospital but died 11 days later, prosecutors said.
In a blood test taken about three hours after the car crash, Reynolds’ blood alcohol content was .232, significantly higher than what’s allowed by law, according to prosecutors.
About 12 members of Gadsden’s family attended the plea hearing. Six of them spoke about their loss and its effect on their family. Many of them asked the judge to order the maximum sentence of 25 years.
Many supporters also packed the courthouse for Reynolds. Most submitted letters that the judge read before today’s hearing. Three spoke in support of Reynolds, including his brother. They spoke of his issues with alcoholism. Reynolds also spoke and apologized to the Gadsden family.
“I don’t believe there are enough words to describe how sorry I am. I never meant to hurt anyone,” he said. “After my mother’s death I’ve been trying to fill that void. Unfortunately, I tried to fill the void will alcohol.”
Reynolds said he is now sober and plans to remain that way. He must serve at least 85 percent of his sentence.
Read the full the story in tomorrow’s editions of The Post and Courier.
Reach Natalie Caula at 937-5594 or Twitter.com/ncaula.