Sunday January 26th, 2020 9:17AM

Gainesville man will serve 15 years behind bars for hit and run that killed local pastor

By B.J. Williams Assistant News Director
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A man who hit and killed a Gainesville pastor almost two years ago on a Braselton roadway has reached a plea deal in the death.

Jackson County Assistant District Attorney Andy Crawford confirmed Tuesday that Billy Eugene Bowers, Sr. of Gainesville pled guilty to two counts of homicide by vehicle in the first degree, hit and run and reckless driving in the crash that killed David McLoy Fitzpatrick on May 4, 2015.

Fitzpatrick, the pastor of Gainesville Vineyard Church on Bradford Street, was riding his bicycle on Highway 53 near New Cut Road when Bowers hit him with his vehicle and fled the scene. Fitzpatrick died at the scene of the incident. Family members said at the time that Fitzpatrick had pastored Gainesville Vineyard Church for 17 years. 

"He received a sentence of 15 years in prison, with another 15 years to follow on probation," Crawford said in an email. "He also received 40 hours community service, $1,000 fine, alcohol and drug evaluation and risk reduction program, and a waiver of his fourth amendment rights."

Attorneys for Bowers made the arrangement with the court on January 30, according to Crawford.



  • Associated Categories: Homepage, Local/State News
  • Associated Tags: Highway 53, Jackson County , plea deal, hit and run crash , bicyclist killed, pastor killed , Gainesville Vineyard Church
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