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Funkstown man sentenced on eighth DUI offense

September 13, 2010|By DON AINES

A Funkstown man who pleaded guilty to his eighth alcohol-related driving offense was sentenced Monday in Washington County Circuit Court to five years in prison.

Rodney Lynn Williams, 51, of 16 W. Poplar St., was sentenced by Circuit Judge Donald E. Beachley to serve two years in prison after entering a guilty plea to driving under the influence of alcohol.

In exchange for the plea, another charge of driving under the influence was dismissed, along with charges of driving while impaired, driving with a suspended license, driving with a revoked license and failure to yield the right-of-way, court records show.

Beachley also sentenced Williams to a consecutive three-year sentence for violating probation on a 2009 second-degree assault conviction.

Williams has convictions for driving under the influence and driving while intoxicated dating to 1990, Assistant State's Attorney Michele Hansen said.

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Monday's plea agreement involved an accident in April, according to a statement of probable cause filed by the Washington County Sheriff's Office.

Williams told Beachley he was having problems dealing with the death of his son, who died in a car crash last year. Beachley told Williams a prison sentence was appropriate "so you don't put another family through what you're going through."

Corey Thomas Williams, 19, of Funkstown was killed Nov. 21, 2009, in a single-vehicle accident on Alternate U.S. 40 near Boonsboro, according to a published report. Corey Williams, who was a passenger, died in the accident, as did the driver of the vehicle, Maryland State Police said.

In the accident that led to charges against Rodney Williams, a Washington County Sheriff's deputy responded to the intersection of East Oak Ridge Drive and South Potomac Street in Hagerstown shortly after noon on April 10, the statement of probable cause said.

A witness told the deputy that a man who appeared to be intoxicated came into Roy's Quality Care and purchased an automotive light bulb from the witness, the statement said.

The man fell down outside the store and the witness was calling police when the man got into a white Buick, drove into the Sheetz parking lot and then into traffic, striking a pickup, the statement of probable cause said. The man drove the Buick to a parking lot across the street, the statement said. When the man tried to drive away, the witness took the keys, the statement said.

When the deputy went over to the Buick, the driver was opening a bottle of beer, the statement of probable cause said.

"It doesn't matter. I'm going to jail anyway," the man said when the deputy took the beer from him, the statement of probable cause said.

The driver of the pickup truck had minor injuries, the statement of probable cause said.

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