Drunk driver gets 7 years in prison
Man sentenced in deaths of 2 in wreck
Friday, June 27, 2014 12:00 AM
Ray Deberry Jr. sits inside the Abbeville County Courthouse moments after he was sentenced to prison Thursday morning. (MATT BRUCE | INDEX-JOURNAL)
An Anderson County man was sentenced Thursday after being convicted of charges tied to a fiery crash last August that killed two people.
Ray Deberry Jr., a 34-year-old Iva man, pleaded guilty to two counts of felony driving under the influence (death results) during a hearing inside the Abbeville County Courthouse. Circuit Court Judge Frank Addy levied a 20-year sentence, suspended to 7 years behind bars and 3 years’ house arrest followed by 5 years of probation for Deberry. He faced a maximum of 50 years for both counts, which required a mandatory $10,100 fine upon conviction, according to state law.
Deberry will have to serve out 85 percent of the sentence as the charges are classified as violent and most serious offenses.
The conviction stemmed from a two-vehicle wreck near S.C. Highway 28 about four miles north of Abbeville late the night of Aug. 21, 2013. Deberry was driving a 1992 Toyota Tacoma pickup that slammed head-on into a Ford F-150 near the intersection of Davis Road and a dirt road.
The collision sent the Ford pickup hurtling into a group of trees and the vehicle burst into flames. The passengers, both of Abbeville, were 64-year-old Gary Spinks and 52-year-old Ruby Wertz. The two died at the scene from blunt force trauma to the head, autopsy results showed. Both victims were still in the Ford when the vehicle ignited and their bodies were burned to the point that medical examiners could not immediately identify them, according to testimony.
The crash represented the first of two fatal wrecks in Abbeville County in less than a 48-hour span last August. The incidents left a total of four people dead.
MORE IN TODAY'S INDEX-JOURNAL