Madison County man gets 10-year prison sentence in death of game warden

·3 min read

A Danielsville man was sentenced to 10 years in prison Thursday in the death of a Georgia Department of Natural Resources game warden who was hit and killed by a car while walking along a road for exercise near his Madison County home.

The Sept. 3, 2020, crash along rural Hunt Road outside Danielsville claimed the life of Capt. Stan Elrod, who grew up in Toccoa and had worked for the DNR for 27 years.

More than a dozen DNR officers along with numerous officers with other agencies attended the sentencing in Madison County Superior Court, where Judge Chris Phelps imposed a sentence of 15 years with the first 10 in prison on Arvil Edward Hamons III of Danielsville.

Hamons, 32, pleaded guilty on Nov. 3 to first-degree vehicular homicide, DUI, possession of a schedule 1 drug and possession of a firearm during a felony.

More: State game warden Stan Elrod hit, killed by car in Madison County

Phelps termed the case an “absolute tragedy.”

“The life of Capt. Elrod’s family has been devastated and the life of Mr. Hamons’ family has been devastated,” said the judge, who also imposed a consecutive five-year probation sentence for the firearm charge.

Capt. Stan Elrod
Capt. Stan Elrod

Northern Circuit District Attorney Parks White recommended a 10-year prison term, saying Elrod’s death was tragic, but preventable, and due to distracted driving and the drugs in Hamons' system that included methadone, THC and amphetamine.

Elrod, hit from behind, was killed instantly, White said.

Defense lawyer Jim Smith of Athens suggested a five-year prison term, saying Hamons has accepted responsibility for his action, has no criminal record, was employed at an auto repair shop, and after the crash called 911 and attempted to render aid to Elrod.

Smith also termed the level of drugs in Hamons' system as small.

“He has lived a good life up until now,” Smith said.

In an emotional address to the court, Elrod’s wife, Julie Elrod, talked about her husband of 25 years and the father of their two sons.

“I’ve never felt any ill will toward you,” she said, telling Hamons she has prayed for him and his family. She talked about how the loss of the “love of my life” has affected the family.

“I don’t think you comprehend who you struck that night,” she said, detailing how her husband was close to his sons, respected by his coworkers and how he was fair and just in dealing with the public.

“You are forgiven, at least by me,” she said, while pointing out there are legal consequences to his actions.

Wanda Hamons, the defendant’s mother, told the court that her son meant no harm that night. She said her son’s children, a 9-year-old son and 7-year-old daughter, have had difficulties in dealing with the fact their father is not at home.

“All (the daughter) wants for her birthday is to see her daddy, but we know that won’t happen,” she said.

“I’d like to apologize to the Elrod family,” Hamons' mother said.

In imposing the sentence, the judge also is requiring that upon Hamons' release from prison, he will perform 100 hours of community service by speaking to various groups about “how seconds can change your life.”

This article originally appeared on Athens Banner-Herald: Danielsville man gets 10 years in prison in death of game warden

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