Frank David: Vehicular manslaughter sentence too light | TheUnion.com
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Frank David: Vehicular manslaughter sentence too light

The Oct. 27 edition of The Union carried the sentencing of William R. Hawkyard, convicted by plea bargain of vehicular manslaughter in the death of his friend, Dakota Smith, in a high speed rollover accident caused by Hawkyard’s reckless driving.

He will serve only one year in county jail, and three years probation.

That term will likely be reduced to eight or nine months of incarceration, with an early release for good behavior.



Is causing the loss of a human life worth only one year in this jurisdiction? His driver’s license is suspended for three years — an almost meaningless penalty.

People with suspensions frequently drive anyway.




Judge Candace Heidelberger “had reservations about accepting the plea agreement.” Then why did she take the deal?

She also stated that, “Nothing I do is going to bring Dakota back!” Gee, I wish I could have said that. How eloquent.

Poor Hawkyard has to wake up every day knowing he killed his friend. Too bad for him, but his friend cannot wake up on any day ever again.

The judge warned Hawkyard that if he violates probation he will face “significant prison time.” I doubt that. He deserves that prison time right now.

Frank B. David

Nevada City


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