Former Varnell, Ga., police officer James Smith won't serve prison time for slamming his off-duty police cruiser at high speed into Leon Thurman's car early in the morning on March 5, 2012, killing the 70-year-old Cohutta man.
"[Thurman's] family did not want him to go to prison," said Conasauga Circuit District Attorney Bert Poston, who prosecuted the case.
Instead, Smith will serve 10 years' probation, do 300 hours of community service, pay a $2,500 fine and court fees -- and won't ever work in law enforcement again. That's under a ruling Thursday by Whitfield County Superior Court Judge Cindy Morris after Smith pleaded guilty to first-degree vehicular homicide and reckless driving.
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