Athens hit-and-run suspect wants ankle monitor removed

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CLARKE COUNTY, Ga. - A Clarke County judge has denied an accused hit-and-run driver's requests to relocate and remove his ankle monitor.

William Wilson Heaton Jr. is facing several charges in connection with the crash that left a teen with critical brain injuries.

Police said 19-year-old Emily Bowman was walking in a grassy area off Oak Street in Athens Feb. 16 when Heaton struck her from behind. Police said Heaton then left in his pickup.

In court Wednesday morning, attorneys for Heaton asked the judge to remove his ankle monitor, and authorize him to live in Bartow County with his grandfather, so he could work. But both of Heaton's requests were denied.

"We wanted him to go to work, so he can pay for his defense, pay for his restitution," said Heaton's attorney, Anthony Perrotta.

The judge ordered Heaton to stay in Oconee County, with his mother, so he can be monitored.

Channel 2's Rachel Stockman asked Perrotta if his client was remorseful.

"He cries every day and just prays for Emily everyday, and the whole Heaton family does that," Perrotta said.

Heaton has been charged with felony hit-and-run, DUI, serious injury by a motor vehicle, failure to maintain a lane, open container and reckless driving.

Heaton is out of jail on a $50,000 bond.

Meanwhile, Bowman's family said she's still in a hospital.

It's been nearly three months since the crash, and Bowman is still in a wheelchair, and unable to speak. Her family said she's learning to swallow. 

"We are going to be taking her home in 10 days before her 20th birthday. And she is going to be going home in a wheel chair because of (Heaton)," said Dale Bowman.

 


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