A motorcyclist was killed in April of 2009 by a former Brunswick Community College math instructor who was driving while impaired. The victim was 31-year-old Stanley Torr Barnes, a chef from the Triad area, who was in Wilmington for work. During the recent sentencing at New Hanover County Superior Court, the driver, Jason Albert Smith, 32, of Southport, received the forgiveness he was hoping for.
I’lla Barnes, the mother of the victim, called Smith’s actions “a stupid, irresponsible mistake,” but later told him that she forgave him. She also showed pictures of her son and talked about his volunteer work and willingness to help others. She told Smith that they wouldn’t be properly honoring their son if they didn’t give him their forgiveness.
Under a plea agreement, Smith pleaded guilty to one count each of felony death and hit and run resulting in serious bodily injury or death. He was sentenced by Supreme Court Judge W. Allen Cobb Jr. to 120 days in jail with 25-27 months suspended and three years of probation. He lost his driver’s license, was fined $1000 and must do 50 hours of community service. Smith also lost his job as a result of the incident. The victim’s family also plans to seek financial compensation in a civil lawsuit.
Source: Star News Online-“Mother of man killed by drunk driver offers forgiveness at sentencing”-Sept. 15, 20009