Sadly, it appears Dorri Fairbanks was right.
In January 2000, Fairbanks told a Pierce County judge that James Gordon Southard Jr., who’d just been convicted of killing her husband in a car wreck, likely would offend again.
“I hope that he never drinks and drives again, but I have my doubts,” Fairbanks told Superior Court Judge Arthur Verharen before he imposed a 10-year prison sentence on Southard in the death of Shawn Fairbanks, 37.
Southard, 50, found himself in court again Monday, this time charged with vehicular homicide for allegedly running down Gary Slick on Saturday as the 47-year-old man walked along 214th Avenue East in Bonney Lake.
Southard pleaded not guilty and was ordered jailed in lieu of $1.5 million bail by Court Commissioner Craig Adams, who called prosecutors’ request of $500,000, “too small.” Relatives and friends of Slick cheered when Adams set the bail at the higher amount.
The accident occurred about 5:30 p.m., not far from where 214th intersects with state Route 410.
Two witnesses reported seeing Southard’s pickup swerving in the street before it ran up on the shoulder and hit Slick. The police officer who arrested Southard said he “appeared groggy and disoriented,” court records show.
Police said they also found methamphetamine and other drugs in Southard’s truck, and they drew his blood for analysis. Test results were not available Monday.
He reportedly left the scene to buy a sports drink before police arrived, court records show, and allegedly told arresting officers, “It wasn’t my fault. He was in the road.”
Southard pleaded guilty in 2000 to five felonies stemming from a string of drunken-driving related crashes that culminated in Fairbanks’ death in November 1999. Southard was driving along River Road in Puyallup when his Camaro hit another car, which collided with Fairbanks’ firstname.lastname@example.org