WHITE COUNTY, Ga. — It has been almost two years to the day when 3-year-old Easton Cain was killed by a driver who was high on meth while behind the wheel.
The suspect, James Holcomb, a repeat DUI offender with political connections learned Thursday he is going to prison. But it was testimony by Cain's father Casey that was both gripping and heartbreaking.
Sobs could be heard throughout the courtroom Casey took the stand to talk about the impact of his son's death on his family, and how it is still hurting his family.
“We just didn't have any energy,” he explained. “Between no energy and the sadness we were going through, it made it very difficult."
Casey also spoke of how he and his wife struggle to have a relationship with their other child in the wake of their loss.
“Were you scared to get as close to him,” lawyers asked.
“I still am,” Casey admitted.
Attorneys and witnesses outlined the details of the devastating crime.
Police said Holcomb, 37, was slumped behind the wheel of his Chevrolet Avalanche on Jan. 17, 2017 in the Ingles parking lot on Helen Highway in Cleveland when his car rolled forward into Easton Cain, who was standing by his mother, Kala Cain, behind their parked Ford Explorer as she loaded groceries into the car. She also had her 16-month-old with her as well.
Prosecutors said blood tests later reveled Holcomb had methamphetamine in his system at the time of the crash. Witnesses from the grocery store parking lot told the court on Thursday that they scrambled to stop Holcomb’s car, while he was unresponsive in the driver’s seat.
Gayle Pitts, who was parked in front of Holcomb’s car, rushed to help Easton’s mother.
“We were screaming at him and he wasn’t responding at us, not looking at us,” Pitts said. She said she heard his engine continuing to rev up, with Easton pinned into the car.
First responders took Easton to Northeast Georgia Medical Center in Gainesville, where he died. His mother, who was a nurse there, hasn't been able to go back to work.
In the two years since, the family has never turned off the light in Easton's room, and the family still has trouble talking about the death.
"To this day, have you ever turned off the light to Easton's bedroom?" the prosecutor asked Casey.
"We have not," he replied.
PHOTOS | 3-year-old Easton Cain
Holcomb, the son of a White County commissioner, was charged with vehicular homicide, DUI, reckless driving, driving with an expired license and operating a vehicle without insurance. He was also charged with one count of meth possession.
There was some controversy about Holcomb – he's the son of White County Commissioner Lyn Holcomb. Court records show Holcomb was arrested for DUI arrests in 2001, 2002 and 2008. In his first DUI arrest, Holcomb wasn't even old enough to drink alcohol. Yet, that case and a 2002 accident and DUI were never prosecuted and subsequently dismissed by a judge in 2005, because the statute of limitations had expired.
And a gag order was issued in this case, meaning no one could talk about it, something that many critics say that was unconstitutional.