Judge dismisses DUI charge in fatal hit-and-run

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GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. - A judge has dismissed the DUI charge against a Gwinnett County man accused of killing a mother and her child in a hit-and-run.

Spencer Prigmore, 43, remains behind bars on several serious felonies.

"I'm not convinced it's a good idea to let him out," the judge said, but also agreed there wasn't enough evidence to keep the DUI charge. The DUI charge could come back into play based on Prigmore's blood tests.

Channel 2's Kerry Kavanaugh was the only TV reporter to attend Prigmore's hearing Thursday morning .

Prigmore hung his head for most of the hearing. An officer took the stand and recounted the crash investigation from July 18.

"Oh my God, please tell me. Did I kill them?" Lilburn Police Officer Andy Blimline said Prigmore asked him after the incident.

Maria Cervantes Maldonado and her 6-year-old daughter, Melissa, were walking home from the store. They were along Highway 29 in Lilburn.

Witnesses said they saw Prigmore go onto the sidewalk, hit the pair and take off.

Police said he eventually stopped his pickup truck about a quarter of a mile down the road, "Hysterical, he was screaming and crying. The officer said he was in that mode for about an hour and a half, unable to be controlled," Blimline testified.

"He's devastated. He was on suicide watch," Defense Attorney Tom West said to the court.

Police believed Prigmore was under the influence of drugs, but his defense attorney said he was just emotionally devastated about what had just happened.

West said Prigmore never fled the crime scene, but stopped when he could. He also believes the incident was an accident, not a criminal act.

Prigmore's mother, Janice Hayes, vowed to keep her son out trouble if he was granted bond.

"I'd do everything I can do," Hayes said. "(If the) judge told him to stay in that house forever, he'd stay there."

The judge denied bond on the four remaining charges against Prigmore, which includes vehicular homicide.

A vigil will be held to remember Maria Cervantes Maldonado and her daughter Melissa, which will be held at the spot where they died at 7:30 p.m. Thursday night.



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