Man gets 7 years for aggravated vehicular assault

Published 10:26 am Friday, March 22, 2013

A West Virginia man found guilty of severely injuring his 4-year-old daughter while driving under the influence of drugs was sentenced Wednesday in Lawrence County Common Pleas Court.

William Meadows, 27, of 4958 Waverly Road, Huntington, was sentenced to seven years in prison for a count of second-degree aggravated vehicular assault.

Meadows pleaded no contest to the charge March 13, as well as charges of fifth-degree possession of drugs and misdemeanor driving under the influence fifth-degree possession of drugs and misdemeanor driving under the influence.

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Judge D. Scott Bowling also sentenced the man to pay $1,750 in fines and suspended his driver’s license for six months.

Prosecuting Attorney Brigham Anderson said the charges stem from an incident on Nov. 3, 2012, where Meadows crashed his pickup truck into a tree on County Road 58. His daughter was in the front seat and was severely injured, Anderson said.

Anderson also said Meadows admitted to using heroin that day and pill residue was also found in his nostrils. He recommended Meadows serve seven years in prison with no possibility for early release saying the incident was a “senseless act brought own by his (Meadows’) own intoxication.”

Philip Heald, Meadows’ attorney, said the man acknowledged the seriousness of his offenses.

“This is a man who I know has shown genuine remorse,” Heald said.

Heald suggested the man serve five years in prison with an opportunity for judicial release, based on the court’s sentencing history on previous cases of similar child endangerment charges.

“I know I deserve this,” Meadows said. “I hurt the kid I love most. … I know I messed up. I was an addict.”

Although Bowling sentenced Meadows to seven years in prison, he said he would consider a judicial release in the future.

“If you truly want to convince this court that you have changed, … you are going to have to do that through your institution report.”