Lexington Man Gets 17 Years for Killing DOT Worker

7:56 PM, Oct 3, 2013   |    comments
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Lexington, SC (WLTX) -- A Lexington man was sentenced Thursday after hitting and killing a Department of Transportation worker.

Robert Stafford was sentenced to 17 years for felony DUI and leaving the scene of an accident. Stafford hit and killed 21-year-old Nicholas Johnson as he was working on the Broad River bridge along I-20 in December 2012.'

Stafford agreed to plead guilty because, in his words, he was sorry and understood that he was guilty.

"The choices you made has caused a lot of pain and suffering for both families," said Rene Johnson, Nicholas Johnson's mother. Rene Johnson was allowed to address the court immediately before sentencing Thursday.

"I hope that you, today, too, start a journey - one that will help you become clean and sober so you will be able to make better choices for you, your family, and the citizens of South Carolina."

Stafford's run-ins with law enforcement include two previous DUI arrests. 

He bonded out on one of those arrests two weeks before this incident, according to the Eleventh Circuit Solicitor's Office.

Prosecutors said that a blood sample taken from Stafford shows he had methadone and Xanax in his system at the time that Johnson was killed. 

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