In Georgia, vehicular homicide charges can be brought if someone is killed in an auto accident. There are two kinds of vehicular homicide: first-degree vehicular homicide and second-degree vehicular homicide. Second-degree vehicular homicide is generally charged as a misdemeanor. First-degree vehicular homicide is charged as a felony. A person is charged with felony vehicular homicide when they cause a death while driving under the influence, overtaking and passing a school bus, fleeing or attempting to elude a police officer, leaving the scene of an accident, or driving recklessly. The penalty for first-degree vehicular homicide is a prison term of between three and fifteen years.
Fox 5 Atlanta reports that a former bus driver has been convicted of first-degree vehicular homicide and sentenced to three years in prison. Shalita Harris was driving a school bus in Warner Robbins, Georgia in January 2018. As she entered a curve, she lost control of the bus. The bus left the roadway, turning over. In the rollover, 6-year-old Arlana Haynes was ejected.
Haynes died at a Macon hospital. Five other students were injured in the accident. Last week, jurors convicted Harris of first-degree vehicular homicide and reckless driving. Harris was acquitted of a charge of speeding and a second vehicular homicide charge.
On Monday, a Houston County judge sentenced Harris to three years in prison. Because Harris is a first-time offender, the convictions will be removed from her record after she successfully completes her prison term and seven years of probation.
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