by: Richard Elliot Updated:
DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. - A man who pleaded guilty to killing three Georgia Power employees in a 2009 car crash will not be released from jail early.
James Miles asked a DeKalb County judge to be released from the county jail's work release program nine months early. His attorney told Judge Johnny Panos that the jail time is a hardship on Miles' family, especially his wife, who Miles says recently injured her back.
The DeKalb County Solicitor's Office opposed the early release, reminding the judge about the horrific crash.
Witnesses testified they saw Miles weaving through traffic on Highway 78 before he clipped a work van full of Georgia Power employees.
The van flipped over and crashed on the side of the road. The impact killed Robert Clinton Jr., Ollie Stephens Jr. and Cindy Fitzgerald. It also seriously injured six other employees, at least one of whom is still undergoing surgeries to repair the damage.
After hearing both sides, Panos denied the request.
"The hardships that you enunciated and put in your briefs are not sufficient for me at this time to think of changing this at all," Panos said.
Miles and his attorney, Robert Williams Jr., had nothing to say as they walked out of the courthouse.
"We are really pleased with the judge's decision in this case," said DeKalb Solicitor General Sherry Boston. "We felt the sentence Mr. Miles originally received was lenient."
Under the work release program, Miles is allowed to leave jail during the day to go to work but then must spend nights and weekends in jail.