Sanford guilty of DUI causing death

Published 7:00 am Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Walter D. Sanford

Walter D. Sanford

A Carriere man was found guilty of driving under the influence, which resulted in a death, by a jury in Pearl River County Circuit Court on Friday.
On November 20, 2014, Walter Dewayne Sanford, 53, of 12 Sanford and Son Road, was driving on Interstate 59 when he struck a vehicle in the right lane, causing both cars to lose control and flip several times. The second vehicle landed upright; the driver did not suffer major injuries. Sanford’s vehicle landed upside down, ejecting the passenger, 50-year-old Teresa Spiers of Carriere, resulting in severe blunt force traumas, previous coverage states.
Spiers later died due to her injuries. Blood tests revealed Sanford’s blood alcohol level was 0.231, almost three times the legal limit, according to previous coverage.
Sanford was arrested by the Picayune Police Department on January 18, 2015 for the charge of DUI and causing death, previous coverage states.
Since his arrest, Sanford has been held at the Pearl River County jail pending his trial, which was presided by 15th Circuit Court Judge Claiborne “Buddy” McDonald, which began on Jan. 18, Assistant District Attorney Michael Horan said.
Sanford’s defense attorney, James Gray, filed a plea on the grounds that Sanford claimed he was not driving the vehicle at the time of the accident, Horan said.
After two and a half days of testimony, a jury of his peers found Sanford guilty on Dec. 20, Horan said.
Spiers’ family waited outside the courtroom for the verdict, Horan said. Sanford will be sentenced on Feb. 3, Horan said.

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About Julia Arenstam

Staff Writer

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