Judge Cordell Maddox recently sentenced a 67 year old man charged in the death of Sandy Spring volunteer firefighter Kenneth Stanton on Feb. 15, 2015. Charles Pickens, 67, was sentenced to 25 years provided upon 15 years active service and five years probation on charges of Felony DUI with Death and Leaving the Scene of an Accident resulting in Death. Stanton was directing traffic at a collision on US Hwy. 76 when Pickens swerved from his lane of traffic, striking Stanton and killing him, before striking a fire truck and leaving the scene.
After he was located, Pickens refused a breath test and a search warrant was obtained for a sample of his blood. Eventually testing of that blood sample by SLED revealed Pickens had a blood alcohol content that night of .254 percent, which is over three times South Carolina’s legal limit.
Members of the Sandy Springs Frie Department as well as friends and familty of Stanton were present at the plea. Stanton’s widow Sheryl Stanton spoke on behalf of the family. She said Stanton “joined the Sandy Springs Fire Department and was so proud and happy to be able to help his community in any way that he could and took pride in it.” She also said “He had the funeral of a hero which was fitting because he was my hero.”
Following the sentencing, Tenth Judicial Circuit Solicitor Chrissy Adams said, “Our community lost a great man when it lost Kenneth Stanton. Today’s sentence is justice for his grieving family and for our community, but the absence of this hero will continue to be felt by all.”