Tuesday December 1st, 2015 11:35AM

DA disappointed in verdict in boat crash trial

By Staff
GAINESVILLE - Hall County District Attorney Lee Darragh did not speak publicly following a verdict in the case of a Forsyth County man involved in a deadly boat crash on Lake Lanier, but he did say in a statement he was disappointed in the outcome.

A Hall County Superior Court jury acquitted Paul J. Bennett of Cumming on charges of homicide by vessel in the deaths of two Buford boys the night of June 18, 2012. Bennett was found guilty on charges of boating under the influence, failure to render aid and reckless operation of a vehicle in connection with the boat collision.

The judge presiding over the trial removed a member of the jury from the case after they used the Internet to try finding out more about legal penalties Bennett could potentially face, according to The Associated Press.

Judge Kathlene Gosselin sentenced Bennett to two and a half years in prison, a year and a half on probation and 240 hours of community service.

"While we are disappointed in the limited extent of the jury's verdict, the State is grateful for Judge (Kathlene) Gosselin's sentence of extensive incarceration time and conditions imposed upon the defendant on the counts on which she had an opportunity to sentence," Darragh told in a written statement following the sentence.

"My thoughts and prayers are with the Prince family as they continue to grieve the loss of their beloved boys Jake and Griffin," Darragh added.

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