Man pleads guilty in wreck that killed bride
by Michelle Babcock
March 04, 2015 04:00 AM | 679 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
District Attorney Shannon Wallace, left, prepares the papers for Ryan Quinton, right, to sign in his plea of guilty in the December 2013 death of his bride as his attorney Scott Poole, center, watches. <br>Staff-Michelle Babcock
District Attorney Shannon Wallace, left, prepares the papers for Ryan Quinton, right, to sign in his plea of guilty in the December 2013 death of his bride as his attorney Scott Poole, center, watches.
Staff-Michelle Babcock
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Ryan Quinton
Ryan Quinton
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Outside was gray and rainy, while inside the courtroom was somber and crowded Tuesday afternoon as Ryan Quinton pleaded guilty to vehicular homicide in the wedding-day crash that killed his bride in December 2013. Quinton, 29, of Jasper also pleaded guilty to separate charges of driving under the influence in May 2014, just months after his wife’s death. Family members from both the bride and groom’s sides of the family attended the sentencing in support of Quinton, including the man’s mother, Diane Quinton, who testified what it was like when she arrived at the hospital to see her son after the wreck. “The first words out of his mouth were, he said, ‘Momma, as God as my witness I want to be with Kali, I don’t want to live anymore.’ He was devastated,” she said crying from the witness stand. Ryan Quinton wept as he listened to his mother’s testimony. Quinton was behind the wheel as he and his new wife, Kali Shay Dobson, 25, of Ball Ground left their wedding reception in Ball Ground on Dec. 30, 2013. But the couple never made it to their honeymoon “She was his soulmate and he lost her, and he was blaming himself for it,” she told the courtroom, as family members fought back tears. Cherokee Superior Court Judge David Cannon Jr. gave Quinton the maximum sentence of 15 years for vehicular homicide, with the first 2 to 3 months to be served in a state-run detention center, and the remainder on probation. As a condition of the sentencing, Cannon said Quinton would not be issued a driver’s license for at least five years. “No one believes that you intended to kill your wife,” Cannon said while handing down his sentence. “This should’ve been a joyous occasion, but instead it was the worst possible tragedy imaginable.” Quinton spoke during the sentencing, telling the judge and family members, “they’ll never know how sorry I am.” He asked Cannon to consider treatment in his sentence, saying, “I’m begging y’all for help.” As part of the sentencing, Quinton will have to complete 2,000 hours of community service and pay thousands in fines. Quinton will also be required to complete a DUI court program, which includes monitoring, counseling, meetings and other work. For the separate charges of driving under the influence, reckless driving and failure to stop at a stop sign, Quinton was sentenced to serve 24 months in jail, with an additional 12 months that will only be served if he fails to complete the DUI court program. He was given credit for the nine months he served since being taken into custody in May. On the day of the tragic wreck in December 2013, Quinton and Dobson married at about 4 p.m. at the Wheeler House in Ball Ground, a popular event venue where the couple also held their wedding reception. According to evidence presented by Cherokee County District Attorney Shannon Wallace, the newlyweds left the wedding reception art about 8 p.m., with Quinton in the driver’s seat and Dobson in the passenger seat — not wearing a seat belt. At the intersection of Old Canton and Highway 5, Wallace said evidence showed Quinton began to “power brake” and “lay drag,” which caused him to lose control of the car. The red Pontiac Firebird he was driving left the roadway and went off an embankment, flipping several times. Dobson was thrown from the vehicle as it flipped down the embankment, and the car finally came to rest on top of the bride. Dobson was pronounced dead on the scene; Wallace said the cause of death was ruled as “mechanical asphyxiation.” Blood tests conducted by the hospital and Georgia Bureau of Investigation labs showed Quinton’s blood alcohol level to be 0.115 percent — over the legal limit of 0.08 percent. Quinton had told police that a dog ran into the road on the day of the wreck, causing him to swerve, but Wallace said further investigation showed he had been “laying drag.” In the aftermath of the tragedy, five months later, Quinton said he was at Rocco’s Pub in Jasper, and decided to drive himself home after drinking “a few beers.” A caller to emergency-911 told dispatchers that a car was driving erratically, and officers responded. According to Wallace, Quinton pulled out in front of an officer, who then followed him for a time. Wallace said the officer saw Quinton fail to maintain his lane at least 10 times, before pulling him over for running a stop sign. Quinton was tested and his blood alcohol level was measured at 0.158 percent, Wallace said. Attorney Scott Poole represented Quinton in the case, and said Dobson’s parents were unable to attend the hearing because “it was more than they could bear,” but noted that the entire Dobson family supported Quinton. As Poole called several character witnesses to testify on Quinton’s behalf, Quinton fought back tears. His older brother, Kayle Quinton, was at Rocco’s Pub and offered to drive Ryan home the night of his DUI arrest in May. “I felt like I let him down,” his other brother said, adding that he wished he had decided to drive his younger brother home regardless of what he said. In closing, Poole choked back tears himself. “I’ve heard it said before that men are punished by their sins, and not for their sins,” Poole said. “No punishment could be worse than what he’s already gone through.” Wallace said there was no winner in this situation, not Quinton, not the families and not the state. “I agree he’s been punished by losing his wife,” she said, adding that “just because you killed your wife on your wedding day,” you should still be held accountable. Wallace pointed out Quinton’s history of reckless driving, including four speeding tickets, and said it was a pattern going back to 2003. She said, unfortunately, the worst possible thing happened with Quinton’s pattern of reckless driving — it ended with someone dying. Wallace said, “By the grace of God,” Quinton didn’t kill anyone else while driving under the influence of alcohol the second time.
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Holly Springs talks permits for subdivision signs
by Jessicah Peters
March 04, 2015 04:00 AM | 355 views | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A zoning ordinance amendment created some dialogue among the Holly Springs City Council members at Monday’s work session. The amendment proposed by Development Director Nancy Moon would require developers to apply and renew a permit every year with the city of Holly Springs in order to keep their real estate signs outside of a neighborhood. The amendment would define the sign as an “off premise subdivision directional sign,” that conveys directions to a specific place under construction and is not intended to be permanent, but rather to provide direction to an area for a limited period of time, the amendment stated. “More subdivision developers are putting directional signs in rights of way and this is one way we can begin to regulate that,” Moon said. “They are larger than the weekend signs, and are temporary. But under this amendment they would have to apply for a permit and renew it every year in order to keep it there.” The developers would be required to pay $25 for each sign, which are not allowed to be placed within 1,000 feet of another off-premises directional sign. The signs are allowed to be placed on private property only and will also be limited to four per subdivision, or subdivision building phase. Councilman Michael Zenchuk raised concerns about the multiple signs being constructed inside and outside various subdivisions around the city. “They’re not attractive at all. And there are several within the city now. If they’re putting these signs up without a permit are they not consider an illegal sign,” Zenchuk said. Moon said since the signs are called “real estate” signs, they’re not regulated by the city with a permit. City Attorney Bobby Dyer said the concept of what a real estate sign is has been lost, and it needs to be tweaked. Councilwoman Karen Barnett said when she thinks of a real estate sign, she thinks of a for sale sign in someone’s yard, not the large developer signs. “We can limit this to a certain sign or say that a sign is a sign and they have to have a permit for it,” Dyer said. “Some have definitely abused the definition of a real estate sign.” Zenchuk noted that the signs have become advertisements for the developers in the various neighborhoods. “If it’s up for three straight months then we have to consider it as a street sign. We have to do something about this, but I’d like to see what other communities are doing,” he said. Mayor Tim Downing agreed the amendment for the subdivision signs needed to be reviewed in more detail, but that meant council members giving more feedback to city staff. “Staff needs more dialogue on how to proceed on this amendment. It’s started tonight, but council needs to continue to talk with Nancy in order to move forward,” Downing said. The zoning ordinance amendment would also change wall signs for commercial businesses to allow “one square foot of copy area per one linear foot of the wall, or if less than 32 linear feet, the business may have up to 32 square feet of copy area.” Development agreement renewal discussed In other business, the city also considered renewing a development agreement between the Downtown Development Authority and Macauley Schmit LLC that was originally created in August 2012. The agreement is for the redevelopment of the downtown area near Hickory Road, Palm Street and Holly Springs Parkway. It allows Macauley Schmitt the opportunity to secure tenants and others on the redevelopment property prior to a formal development agreement. “The formal development agreement would have to be entered into among the city of Holly Springs, the Holly Springs Downtown Development Authority and Macauley Schmit LLC prior to the initiation of any construction on the project,” City Manager Rob Logan said. As the city continues to focus on downtown redevelopment, council members also discussed entering an agreement with Bleakly Advisory Group to perform a marketing study. Other items discussed at the work session include: ♦ A citywide guardrail repair proposal set to cost the city $4,303 to be paid for out of the Public Works Department; ♦ A resolution to authorize the application of a Cherokee County Development Block Grant to be used for the drainage, sewer and sidewalk project on Palm Street; ♦ A renewal of the lease agreement with Cherokee FOCUS; ♦ The Walnut Street drainage project bids with a possibility of selecting Site Engineering at the cost of $196,465 to be paid for out of the storm water fund; ♦ An amendment to the code of Holly Springs, Chapter 66 – Streets, Sidewalks and other Public Places, Article V – Use of public right of ways in order to add a moving permit. Moon said it was brought to the city’s attention when someone requested to move a house without a moving company. The amendment would establish a $100 moving permit; ♦ A renewal of the proposed zoning map; and ♦ An amendment to the Municipal Services Master Fee Schedule that would include a $25 off premise subdivision directional signs.
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Woman dies after driving the wrong way on I-575
by Michelle Babcock
March 04, 2015 04:00 AM | 573 views | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Kristen Adams
Kristen Adams
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State troopers have still not said what caused a wreck in which a mother died this weekend after driving the wrong direction on Interstate 575 and crashing head-on into a tractor-trailer. Kristen Adams, 26, of Jasper was driving south in the northbound lane of I-575 in the early morning Saturday, according to the incident report filed by the Georgia State Patrol, when her car collided head-on with a tractor-trailer near the Airport Road intersection. Adams was taken to Northside Hospital-Cherokee and died from injuries she received in the wreck, the report states. The young woman was trapped in the vehicle and had to be extracted using the Jaws of Life, according to the report. Franka Young, with the Department of Public Safety, said Tuesday results from the drug and alcohol tests on Adams were still pending, but did not say whether any substances were believed to be a factor in the wreck. At about 2 a.m. Saturday, the tractor-trailer operator was driving northbound and couldn’t avoid the Toyota Camry being driven by Adams, the report states. After hitting the truck head-on, the Camry left the roadway and began rotating, finally coming to rest more than 100 feet from where it hit the tractor-trailer, according to the report. There were no injuries to the driver and passenger in the tractor-trailer. Adams, who attended Cherokee High School in Canton, was an avid animal lover, enjoyed softball and basketball, and most of all loved spending time with her children, according to the obituary. Adams is survived by her mother, Shannon Adams, and father, Steve Adams; children, Aleya Dozier and Jayden Dozier; brother, Michael Adams; grandmother, Lois Langston; father of her children, Nate Dozier; and a host of aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and cousins, the obituary states. In lieu of flowers, the family has asked for donations to be made to help with Adams’ children in the future, and an online fundraiser has been established. Sosebee Funeral Home is handling arrangements, and a gathering was held at Sosebee Funeral Home for friends and family Tuesday. To visit the online fundraiser or make a donation, visit http://www.gofundme.com/KEAChildren. On Tuesday, the fundraiser had garnered $5,900 from 75 contributors.
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Three Canton teens named Eagle Scouts
by TCT Staff
March 04, 2015 04:00 AM | 391 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
From left, Ryan Bowman, Blake Manzer and Brian Edwards, all from Canton, have earned the rank of Eagle Scout, the highest level from Boy Scouts of America. <br>Special to the Tribune
From left, Ryan Bowman, Blake Manzer and Brian Edwards, all from Canton, have earned the rank of Eagle Scout, the highest level from Boy Scouts of America.
Special to the Tribune
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Three Canton teenagers have earned the highest rank in the Boy Scouts of America. Ryan Bowman, 18, Blake Manzer, 18, and Brian Edwards, 17, of Canton are members of Troop 469 and have achieved the Eagle Scout award after earning more than 21 merit badges. They will be recognized in an Eagle Scout Court of Honor presentation on March 21 at the Woodmont Golf and Country Club – Cherokee Hall in Canton. Bowman constructed and replaced two bridges at the Chattahoochee Nature Center in Roswell for his Eagle Scout service project, while Manzer built several plant carrying tables for the center. Edwards designed and implemented a new landscape around Creekview High School for his project to become an Eagle Scout. As members of Troop 479 chartered to Orange United Methodist Church, the three are now part of the 7 percent of all Boy Scouts who have ever achieved the rank of Eagle Scout, according to a release from the local troop. Bowman is a leader in scouting and his community by serving as a patrol leader and assistant senior patrol leader. He is a member of St. Michael the Archangel Catholic Church in Woodstock. He is finishing his final year at Creekview High School where he is a member of the Spanish National Honor Society, student government and a three-year varsity football player, the release said. Manzer has served as a patrol leader, Leave No Trace trainer and a senior patrol leader. He attends Our Lady of the Mountains Catholic Church in Jasper and is a senior at Creekview High. He is an honor student and a varsity lacrosse player, according to the release. Edwards has also served as a patrol leader and assistant patrol leader. He is a member at Revolution Church in Canton. He’s in his senior year at Creekview High School where he is president of the Environmental Club and is in the Spanish National Honor Society, the release said. All three Scouts received The Lamp of Knowledge Award in the fall for earning and maintaining an A average throughout three consecutive years in high school, are AP Scholars and have received two academic letters. They will graduate from Creekview with honors in May, leaders of the troop said in the release. Bowman, Manzer and Edwards join former President Gerald Ford, astronaut Neil Armstrong, filmmaker Steven Spielberg and former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld as Eagle Scouts. In 2013, 690 Atlanta area Scouts earned the Eagle Scout rank. In doing so, these Scouts contributed about 114,814 hours of service to improving our schools, parks, churches and communities through their Eagle Scout projects alone.
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