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October 4, 2012

Man sentenced Thursday for 2009 fatal wreck

Live Oak — The man accused of a 27-year-old local woman’s death in 2009 following a vehicle wreck was sentenced Thursday to prison.

Timothy D. Wells, 44, received 26 years and eight months in prison for count one, DUI manslaughter; five years for counts two through four, DUI with serious bodily injury and 15 years for count five, child neglect great bodily harm. 


All counts are to run concurrent, but consecutive with the sentence he is currently serving. Wells was sentenced to 15 years in prison in June on a sexual battery charge stemming from January 2005.


It took a Suwannee County jury just 36 minutes to find Wells guilty of the charges. The trial lasted two days, Sept. 27-28.

The charges stemmed from a wreck on July 4, 2009 that resulted in the death of April Jo Mercer, 27.


The crash occurred around 6 p.m. after the 1999 Ford pickup Wells was driving was struck by an SUV when Wells failed to stop at the intersection of 169th Road and 104th Street, according to the Florida Highway Patrol. Mercer died at the scene. Her son, six-year-old James Mercer, was ejected and suffered serious injuries. The driver and passenger of the SUV, Patrick Tharpe and Ellen Tharpe, suffered serious injuries as a result of the wreck.

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