Man sentenced for deputy's poor health



When a Columbia, S.C. sheriff’s deputy died doing his job, the man who didn’t pull over for his blue lights was sentenced to jail.

Sounds cut and dry, but the deputy had heart disease and according to The State newspaper:

Deputy Darral Keith Lane, 41, suffered a heart attack Dec. 14 as he tried to arrest three men that morning.


Lane had an enlarged heart caused by high cholesterol and blood pressure, Richland County Coroner Gary Watts said last year. He also had severe cardiac disease.

While Matthew Hook was wrong for not stopping for the officer, is it fair to sentence him because the officer was already in poor health?

Matthew Denny Hooks, 34, of Jaggers Plaza, was charged with involuntary manslaughter in connection with Lane's death and failure to stop for a blue light. He entered an alford plea related to the manslaughter charge and pleaded guilty to the failure to stop charge.

It would be different if he’d shot the officer, then he would need to go to prison. But this seems to be a fascist sentence. Isn’t it the responsibility of the officer and the department to make sure law enforcement officers are healthy enough to do their jobs? This man could’ve had a heart attack at anytime. It isn’t fair to take three years of a man’s life for a crime that would normally warrant a ticket.

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