Tuscaloosa county man sentenced for deadly DUI boat crash
The Tuscaloosa County man charged with a deadly DUI boat crash was sentenced for the crime. On July 4, 2018, then 29-year-old Ricky Latham caused a fatal boat crash on the Black Warrior River.
Hale County Judge Marvin Wiggins gave Ricky Latham a 15-year split sentence. Latham will serve 28 months in prison, followed by five years of probation. If at any time he violates conditions handed down by the court, Latham will have to serve the full 15 years in prison.
Many, like Tami Canant, do not feel the sentence is long enough. Her 23-year-old daughter Destiny Graben and 46-year-old Richard Glover were the two people who died during that crash.
“I think the sentence that the judge gave him is way too light for what he did,” Conant said. “We’ve been drug through five years almost of rehashing pain about that night, and he gets so minimal: two years in jail. I do want him to get counseling. I just hope that he gets the help and that something positive comes out of Destiny’s death.”
Latham was driving the boat that caused the fatal crash, and pleaded guilty to two counts of reckless manslaughter and various counts of assault. A toxicology report showed Latham’s blood alcohol level was nearly 3 times the legal limit hours after the crash.
Latham’s attorney Jim Standridge spoke on behalf of his client, expressing extreme remorse.
“He felt horrible,” Standridge said. “He has felt horrible ever since the day that this happened. Many of these people were his friends, these people that were injured. And Destiny, who lost her life, was his friend. He would not have harmed them intentionally for anything, but he wished to take responsibility so everyone can move on.”
After hearing testimony in this case for years, there’s not been much the defense and prosecution have agreed on, except this: there are no winners this case.
“It’s a horrible thing for a family anywhere to go through,” Standridge said. “Everybody lost. These poor people who were injured and lost their lives. Their families will never recover from that. And, of course, Ricky’s life is unalterably changed. So in just those 10 seconds that it took for this accident to happen, everybody’s lives changed forever and everybody’s life got worse. All we could do to try to make it better for the victim’s family is to take responsibility for it, get it resolved, and give everybody a chance to move on.”
“That is what I pray comes from it, is that people learn to make better choices and realize that no you don’t think that would ever happen, but it does,” Conant said. “The people who are around that hear this, I definitely hope that they realize what the outcome can be.”
Latham was immediately taken into the custody of the Hale County Sheriff’s Office after sentencing. No word on where he will serve his time.