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October 2, 2012

Man found guilty of DUI manslaughter

Jury returned verdict in 36 minutes

Live Oak — It took a Suwannee County jury just 36 minutes to return a guilty verdict against a man accused of a 27-year-old local woman’s death in 2009.


Timothy D. Wells, 44, will be sentenced Thursday at 9 a.m. for DUI manslaughter, three counts of DUI serious bodily injury and child abuse: great bodily harm.


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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