District Attorney's Office


  

Conasauga Judicial Circuit of Georgia




   Serving Murray & Whitfield Counties

COOPER SENTENCED TO 30 YEARS FOR VEHICULAR HOMICIDES

February 14, 2017 (Dalton) � Gary Robert Cooper (60), formerly of 2205 Jim Petty Road, Crandall, entered a guilty plea and was sentenced on two counts of vehicular homicide, driving under the influence and driving while license suspended. Cooper�s vehicle crossed the center line on Dawnville Road near Renfroe Road around 8 P.M. on Sunday, April 17, 2016 striking a motorcycle and killing Wanda Faye and Wesley Lynn Cummings. Judge William T. Boyett sentenced Cooper pursuant to the State�s recommendation to serve 15 years in prison followed by 15 years on probation including fines, community service work, alcohol and substance abuse counseling and a condition that he not drive or be in control of any moving vehicle during the term of his sentence. Cooper had four prior DUI�s from 1984 to 1999 and two prior felony habitual traffic violator offenses from the same time period. He was represented by Sheri Smith of the Public Defender�s Office. Family members of the victims were accompanied by Heather Brooks, a representative of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) in Georgia.

After the collision, Cooper stated to law enforcement that he was trying to light a cigarette when he crossed the center-line. He smelled of alcohol and later blood testing revealed a blood-alcohol concentration of 0.092 and the presence of clonazepam in his system rendering him unsafe to drive. The case was investigated by the Georgia State Patrol�s Specialized Collision Response Team (SCRT) and led by Trooper Rodney Curtis from the Calhoun Post. Mr. & Mrs. Cummings were heading home from Church and were killed instantly in the collision.

Vehicular Homicide based on DUI is a crime severity level VIII according to the State Board of Pardons and Paroles requiring that Cooper serve a between 65% and 90% of the sentence imposed by the Court. Based on his prior history of DUI�s, it is believed that he will serve 90% or 13.5 years before being considered for parole although no decision has yet been made by the Board.

Bert Poston
District Attorney
Conasauga Judicial Circuit


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Bert Poston,
District Attorney


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