VALDOSTA -- A Homerville man who pleaded guilty to vehicular homicide in the death of a 3-year-old boy last March was sentenced recently to 10 years of prison and rehabilitation.
Brandon Thornton was arrested and charged with driving under the influence and vehicular manslaughter after hitting David Levin Pafford Jr. on March 7, 2004, on Bethel Church Road south of Homerville. Judge Brooks Blitch sentenced Thornton to a minimum of five years in the Homerville State Prison, with the remainder of his sentence in rehabilitation and probation.
The child was helping his mother check the mail when he was struck by Thornton's car, according to reports. He died shortly afterward of severe trauma caused by the impact.
According to Clinch County District Attorney Cathy Helms, Thornton had a blood alcohol level of more than twice the legal limit when he was arrested.
"It's just a terrible situation," said Helms. "The defendant was drunk and speeding down a narrow dirt road. In fact, about a month after his arrest, he was stopped again for speeding in excess of 90 mph down that same road."