EDISTO ISLAND - A 60-year-old local man was convicted of felony driving under the influence involving death and sentenced to 12 years in prison this week.
Walter Douglas Barclay was convicted following a week-long trial in connection with the Dec. 8, 2008 collision that killed Alvaro Garcia on Point of Pines Road.
Authorities said Barclay drove his Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck several feet across the center line into the oncoming lane and crashed into Garcia's Geo Prizm. Garcia died at the scene. Passenger Jose Davila was injured and testified during the trial at the Charleston County Judicial Center.
Barclay was charged with felony DUI with great bodily injury for Davila's injuries, but the jury found him not guilty on the charge, the 9th Circuit Solicitor's Office said.
Barclay admitted to drinking a "couple beers" at his farm that day, the solicitor's office reported. His blood alcohol content was .20, or more than two times the legal limit for driving in South Carolina.
An empty bottle of Jim Beam and several cold beers and a cooler were found near Barclay's truck, the solicitor's office said.
"This tragedy occurred between Barclay's home and his farm, within two miles of each other, on a road he traveled every day," said Assistant Solicitor Jennifer Kinzeler, who co-prosecuted the case.
"The gruesome scene really showed the catastrophic effect of drunk driving and highlighted the fact that drinking and driving is a dangerous choice even on short trips on familiar roads," she added.
Barclay was sentenced by Circuit Judge Deadra Jefferson. He must served at least 85 percent of his sentence before being eligible for parole.