COBB COUNTY, Ga. – A father who was driving drunk and crashed his car with his 7-year-old daughter, was sentenced to six years in prison.
Jerry Lee Scott, 57, of Austell, Ga., pleaded guilty Thursday to serious injury by vehicle and three counts of endangering a child while driving under the influence.
On Feb. 5, after the Super Bowl, Scott was driving a 2005 PT Cruiser with two adult family members, his two daughters and granddaughter. He turned left in front of a pick-up truck at Veterans Memorial Highway and Austell Road, in Austell.
Scott’s youngest daughter sustained injuries including partial paralysis, brain trauma, an eye injury and acute respiratory failure—as a result, she was hospitalized in critical condition.
The officers who arrived first on the scene noted that Scott’s eyes were bloodshot and speech slurred. His blood alcohol content was .195, more than twice the legal limit.
He was arrested for his fourth DUI.
In 2009, Scott was convicted in Douglas County of driving under the influence and endangering a child while driving under the influence, when he was driving with his daughter and granddaughter, who were an infant and a toddler at the time.
“I recognize that Mr. Scott did not intend to harm his child. His intent was to drink alcohol, and he chose to drive the vehicle. He has to live with knowing that he is responsible for causing these injuries, and the fact that she may never fully recover,” senior assistant district attorney Patricia Hull, who prosecuted the case, said. “Mr. Scott has had a lot of opportunities over the years to make a change in his life, and he has failed to do so.”
Cobb Superior Court Judge Kimberly Childs rejected his request for probation and sentenced him to six years in prison.
“My heart hurts for your family,” Childs said. “I have an obligation to protect the people of Cobb County. Your next victim may not survive.”