DOUGLAS COUNTY, Ga. – In an emotional hearing in Douglas County Friday, the mother of a deceased teenage girl said she forgives the teenage boy responsible for her death.
Jason Lark, 17, pleaded guilty Friday to homicide by vehicle in a wreck last year that killed a 16-year-old girl.
Cheyenne Sauls was killed on February 19, 2011, when a car full of teens crashed in Douglas County. Georgia State troopers said Lark lost control of his SUV early Saturday on Pleasant Drive, killing Sauls and injuring two others. Authorities say Sauls was thrown from the SUV and killed.
None of the teens were wearing seat belts. Lark has admitted to drinking before the accident.
In court Friday, Lark looked directly at Sauls’ parents, wept, and apologized.
“I take full responsibility for what I did. I plead guilty because I am guilty. I shouldn’t even have been behind the wheel of the car,” said a tearful Lark.
Editor’s Note: It is the undisputed privilege of the mother of the dead teen to forgive her daughter’s killer. However, the facts are clear: a death caused by a drunk driver is not an “accident” but a predictable outcome of the driver being drunk at the time of the crash. An “accident” would have been an unforeseen and unintentional occurrence.
Cheyenne Sauls’ father arrested for witness tampering
The father of a Villa Rica girl killed in a 2011 crash has been arrested for allegedly offering a bribe to a witness in the civil case stemming from her death.
Douglas County Sheriff’s Office Jail records show that Eric Wayne Sauls, 45, was booked into the facility at 11:35 Monday morning. He was charged with witness tampering.
Willis Sentenced in Sauls DUI Crash
Dustin Willis, 22, will spend at least the next nine years in prison after pleading guilty Wednesday to vehicular homicide and two counts of causing serious injury by vehicle for supplying alcohol to minors, the Douglas County Sentinel reports.
Judge Robert James said Willis must serve nine years of the three 15-year sentences he received. The sentences will run concurrently.
Willis was the source of the alcohol consumed by Jason Lark. He was in the early Feb. 19, 2011, while Lark was driving the group between drinking parties. Cheyenne Sauls, a 16-year-old Villa Rica High School student, was killed in the wreck. MORE
Dustin Willis sentenced to nine years for furnishing alcohol to Jason Lark who killed his passenger
Father of teen killed in crash charged with bribery of witness in civil suit
CARROLL COUNTY, Ga. — The father of a Douglas County teen killed in a drunken-driving accident now finds himself accused of trying to bribe a witness to lie during a lawsuit.
Douglas County deputies charged Eric Sauls with attempting to influence a witness and convincing him to commit perjury during an upcoming civil suit stemming from the crash.
Sauls’s daughter, 16-year-old Cheyenne, died in February 2011 when a driver lost control of his vehicle on a curve and flipped an SUV several times before striking a U-Haul truck.
Deputies made 10 arrests in the case, including driver Jason Lark and passenger Dustin Willis and several adults. Lark and Willis pleaded guilty to vehicular homicide and causing serious injury by vehicle.
Sauls has filed a number of lawsuits against the defendants and a store that sold alcohol to the group that night.
Deputies said Sauls approached one witness and offered him cash in return for lying during his testimony.
Captain Bobby Holmes said that the witness then contacted the authorities.
“[Sauls] did this himself,” Holmes told Channel 2’s, Richard Elliot. “It wasn’t somebody else. He did this.”
Family friend Sherry Griffin had harsher words. MORE
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