Catherine L. Crumley, age 55, of West Columbia, was sentenced August 30 following a guilty plea to Felony DUI resulting in Death. There were no plea negotiations in the case. Circuit Court Judge DeAndrea G. Benjamin imposed a prison sentence of 21 years incarceration. Felony DUI resulting in Death is classified as a violent crime and a “no parole” offense.
The victim, Larry Edger Williams, age 65, was killed when Crumley’s Suzuki SUV crossed the center line on Old Barnwell Road and struck his Harley Davidson motorcycle head on. Williams sustained severe injuries and died at the scene. The collision occurred at around 10:50 am April 16, 2017. In addition to striking Williams on his motorcycle, Crumley also struck a GMC SUV after she crossed the center line.
S.C. Highway Patrol troopers at the scene noted Crumley showed signs of intoxication, including drooping eyelids, slurred speech, and constricted pupils. She was unable to correctly recite the alphabet. Crumley admitted to taking several types of medications and was transported to the Lexington Medical Center. A Drug Recognition Expert with the S.C. Highway Patrol conducted an evaluation and determined Crumley appeared to be under the influence of intoxicants. A blood sample was obtained and toxicology results from the S.C. Law Enforcement Division (SLED) determined that Crumley had the opioid Hydrocodone in her system, as well as the benzodiazepine Klonopin.
Eleventh Circuit Assistant Solicitor Todd Wagoner prosecuted the case. Following sentencing, Wagoner said, “This case is a tragic reminder of the dangers of prescription drug misuse. Crumley made a poor decision and it cost Larry Williams his life.”
Crumley originally pled guilty on August 22, 2018 and had been detained at the Lexington County Detention Center while awaiting a pre-sentencing report. During today’s sentencing hearing, numerous family members and friends of the victim, Larry Williams, filled the courtroom. Williams and his wife, Debbie, were married 46 years and had just celebrated their wedding anniversary one day prior to the fatal collision.
Following the sentencing hearing, Debbie Williams expressed the need to hold offenders, “accountable for crimes and the damage forever done to people’s lives. I would like to thank Todd Wagoner and the 11th Circuit Solicitor’s Office. We, the justice system, have won a great battle here today. There are no words to express the amount of gratitude that we have for this day. We have all prayed for justice to be done.”