The man convicted of three felony counts last month following a fatal boating accident in June of 2010 will be sentenced Friday. Winston Wood could face a maximum sentence of 19 years in prison for leaving the scene of a crash which killed Susan Collier and her grandson Gage Pruett.
But Wood was never charged with their deaths, only the acts which led to them. Still, IU Maurer School of Law Professor Craig Bradley says it can be hard for juries to separate the technicalities of the charges from the fact people died.
“I think the most damming evidence in this case was that the owner of the other boat called out to Wood for help,” Bradley says. James “Rusty” Collier was operating the other vehicle.
“Collier testified that Wood basically said he wasn’t going to help and instead headed for the dock. Even if Wood did get out and try to help this women, he didn’t do everything that the statue requires him to do, identify himself and try to render aid to anyone so I think that’s what doomed him,” Bradley says.
Defense Attorney Fred Vaiana declined comment other than to say he doesn’t know what the judge will decide.