Local

Father of teen killed in DUI crash accused of bribery

CARROLL COUNTY, Ga. — The father of a Douglas County teen killed in a drunken driving accident now finds himself accused of trying to bribe a witness to lie during a lawsuit.
 
Douglas County deputies charged Eric Sauls with attempting to influence a witness and convincing him to commit perjury during an upcoming civil suit stemming from the crash.
 
Sauls's daughter, 16-year-old Cheyenne, died in February 2011 when a driver lost control of his vehicle on a curve and flipped an SUV several times before striking a U-Haul truck.

Deputies made 10 arrests in the case, including driver Jason Lark and passenger Dustin Willis and several adults. Lark and Willis pleaded guilty to vehicular homicide and causing serious injury by vehicle.

Sauls has filed a number of lawsuits against the defendants and a store that sold alcohol to the group that night.
 
Deputies said Sauls approached one witness and offered him cash in return for lying during his testimony.

Captain Bobby Holmes said that witness then contacted authorities.
 
"[Sauls] did this himself," Holmes told Channel 2's Richard Elliot.  "It wasn't somebody else.  He did this."
 
Family friend Sherry Griffin had harsher words.
 
"I thought it made him look as bad as the people who caused what happened to Cheyenne," Griffin said.
 
Sauls appeared in court on Tuesday morning. He was released on $6,000 bond but left the jail through a back exit to avoid reporters.

Attorney Mac Pilgrim represents Sauls in the civil case, but told Elliot he could not represent Sauls in any criminal matters related to the lawsuit.