Former Varnell police officer won't go to jail for fatal crash
Former Varnell, Ga., police officer James Smith pleaded guilty Thursday to first-degree vehicular homicide and reckless driving in the March 5, 2012, death of Leon Thurman.
Smith, who was off-duty, slammed his police cruiser at 104 mph into the Dodge Neon that Thurman was using to deliver newspapers in the early morning crash on Cleveland Highway in Whitfield County.
Smith won't serve prison time. Whitfield County Superior Court Judge Cindy Morris sentenced him to 10 years' probation, 300 hours of community service and a $2,500 fine and court fees. Smith also is banned from working in law enforcement again.
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