Augusta man sentenced to 15 years for vehicular homicide
One family fought to prove their loved one’s a changed man. The other fought to make sure their family patriarch won’t be forgotten.
Jonathan Ewing Butler admitted in court that he had several drinks during a night out with friends last September, including Hennessy, Miller Light and Crown Royal. He told Judge Ashley Wright he started drinking around 6 p.m. at 1102 on the Broad Street strip and said he had his last drink around 2:30 am. Shortly before smashing his BMW into Vernon Faglier’s truck on I-20.
“He was drinking all day. He knew he needed to take an Uber. But he decided to get in that vehicle and drive," said Faglier’s daughter Crystal Hallford.
Judge Wright accepted the plea deal negotiated by Faglier and Butler’s attorneys. She sentenced Butler to 15 years. Five will be served in confinement. Ten on probation.
“The pictures. I know most people haven’t seen them and I wouldn’t wish for them to. These are the things that nightmares are made of." Wright said after viewing photographs Richmond County Sheriff’s Office investigators took of the crime scene, including the 61-year-old’s mangled body. Faglier’s family brought pictures of their own as they detailed the devastation Butler’s actions caused. They’re satisfied with the sentencing but are destroyed by their loss.
“That won’t bring my grandfather back, at all. Our hearts and family - just broken altogether," said Chloe Myers, Faglier’s granddaughter.
Judge Wright allowed Butler to serve his sentence pursuant to the First Offender Act. She said it is due to a lack of criminal convictions and because he and several of his loved ones testified that he reformed his life.