Teen driver gets prison time for fatal drunk-driving case

ablythe@newsobserver.comSeptember 28, 2012 

— Garrett Prince, a Raleigh teenager involved in a January drunk-driving wreck that left a popular Millbrook High School student dead, will spend the next five years checking into the Wake County jail on the day after Christmas and staying there through the anniversary of the fatal wreck.

Prince, a Millbrook student at the time of the crash, pleaded guilty in Wake County Superior Court on Friday to felony death by motor vehicle and driving while impaired in connection.

Elizabeth Molloy, the teen killed when the Jeep that Prince was driving careened into a tree near the intersection of Rainwater Road and Bellechasse Drive, was a junior at Millbrook.

Her family agreed to the plea arrangement that prosecutors entered with Prince, but Molloy’s mother spoke tearfully at the court hearing about how difficult the past nine months have been.

Prince had a blood-alcohol level of 0.17 – more than twice the 0.08 limit at which North Carolina considers drivers drunk.

In addition to the holiday period that Prince must spend in jail, Judge Donald Stephens also sentenced the teen to a six-month incarceration that began immediately after his plea. Upon his release, he will be on probation for five years.

Prince is not to drive for four years and is not to consume alcohol. As part of the 300 hours of community service he must put in, he is to speak to driver’s education classes and high school groups about the dangers and repercussions of drinking and driving.

Stephens addressed Prince before bailiffs took him away to begin his six-month term. Prince was encouraged by the judge and others to make something of his life so that his friend’s death would not be in vain.

Prosecutor Adam Moyers said prosecutors typically think about two theories of punishment when negotiating plea arrangements – retribution and rehabilitation.

“This plea,” Moyers said, “is designed for both.”

Blythe: 919-836-4948

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