Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Man gets 25-year sentence in Hillsborough DUI manslaughter case

TAMPA — Charles and Wanda Peoples were married 42 years and had four children together. She stuck with him through his four decades of addictions to heroin and alcohol.

When he killed her in a drunken driving crash in 2010, prosecutors said he tried to cut her seat belt and move her body behind the steering wheel.

At his sentencing Friday, Peoples, 60, called himself the victim. He said he'd been "railroaded" by the court. He said he never tried to move his 58-year-old wife after the crash that night on Nov. 27, 2010. He said he'd been a good husband and father.

"I never hurt my wife," he said. "I never made her do anything she didn't want to do."

But after a prosecutor described Peoples' drunkenness that night, his addictions and multiple arrests over 40 years, Hillsborough Circuit Judge Gregory Holder said, "The only appropriate punishment is the maximum allowed by law."

The accident happened about 7 p.m. on Interstate 75 near the College Avenue exit to Ruskin and Sun City Center. Peoples was driving south in his Isuzu with Wanda beside him when he veered into the path of a Lincoln Mark VIII.

The Florida Highway Patrol said Peoples had a blood-alcohol level of 0.204, more than twice the limit at which the state presumes a person is too impaired to drive. Peoples also was driving on a revoked license and was on probation.

Peoples dismissed his attorney, representing himself. He initially pleaded not guilty, then switched to a guilty plea rather than go to trial. But then he tried to withdraw his plea. Holder refused to let him.

On Friday, Peoples asked for a delay in sentencing, saying he wanted to present testimony from a doctor that he was sick. The judge instead reviewed the doctor's written findings.

Then, for DUI manslaughter, driving on a revoked license and violation of probation, Holder gave Peoples 25 years in prison.

John Barry can be reached at (813) 226-3383 or jbarry@tampabay.com.

Man gets 25-year sentence in Hillsborough DUI manslaughter case 07/13/12 [Last modified: Friday, July 13, 2012 10:48pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Lightning fans, don't get attached to your first-round draft picks

    Lightning Strikes

    CHICAGO — When Lightning GM Steve Yzerman announces his first-round pick Friday night in the amateur draft at No. 14, he'll invite the prospect onto the stage for the once-in-a-lifetime photo opportunity.

    Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Jonathan Drouin (27) eludes  Montreal Canadiens left wing Phillip Danault (24) during the second period of Wednesday???‚??„?s (12/28/16) game between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Montreal Canadiens at the Amalie Arena in Tampa.
  2. Investigation Discovery TV show profiles 2011 Landy Martinez murder case

    Crime

    The murder of a St. Petersburg man will be featured this week on a new true crime series Murder Calls on Investigation Discovery.

    Jose Adame sits in a Pinellas County courtroom during his 2016 trial and conviction for first-degree murder. Adame was convicted of first-degree murder last year for torturing and then executing his boyfriend as he pleaded for his life in 2011. Now it will be featured in a new true crime series Murder Calls on Investigation Discovery. The episode will air on June 26 at 9 p.m. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD   |   Times]
  3. Uhuru mayoral candidate Jesse Nevel protests exclusion from debate

    Blogs

    ST. PETERSBURG — Jesse Nevel, the International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement candidate for mayor, on Thursday demanded that he be allowed to participate in a July 25 televised debate between incumbent Mayor Rick Kriseman and challenger Rick Baker.

    Mayoral candidate Jesse Nevel holds a news conference outside the headquarters of the Tampa Bay Times on Thursday to protest his exclusion from the mayoral debate. Nevel is a member of the International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement.
  4. Lightning GM Steve Yzerman also has top-9 wing on his wish list

    Lightning Strikes

    CHICAGO — Much has been made about the Lightning's interest in bolstering its blue line, even after last week's acquisition of defense prospect Mikhail Sergachev.

    Tampa Bay Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman gestures as he speaks to the media about recent trades during a news conference before an NHL hockey game against the Carolina Hurricanes Wednesday, March 1, 2017, in Tampa, Fla. The Lightning, over the past few days, have traded goaltender Ben Bishop to the Los Angeles Kings, forward Brian Boyle to the Toronto Maple Leafs, and forward Valtteri Filppula to the Philadelphia Flyers. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara) TPA101