Roanoke man sentenced after striking three pedestrians in Grandin Village

By Alison Wickline - Reporter

ROANOKE, Va. - A Roanoke man was sentenced to 10 years and 30 days which will be suspended after 3 years and 60 days, for driving into three men during a night of heavy drinking in Grandin Village. 

William Sprouse had already pleaded no contest to charges he intentionally ran down three men with his car after a night of heavy drinking in January. Chris Lafon, Nathaniel Perry and Antonio Napper said they were walking to Spike's when Sprouse struck all three of them and kept driving.

"I know, at the end of the day, that I'm an alcoholic and I need to quit," said Sprouse.

Sprouse's blood alcohol content was about 0.3, more than three times the legal limit in Virginia. His attorney argued his actions were alcohol-fueled --- not intentional -- and he needed treatment, not more jail time. But for the three men sitting behind Sprouse, the months of hospital visits, medical bills and pain warranted more. 

"It's just been rough. You don't expect to get blindsided by a car walking up the street. Having to replay that mental image, I wouldn't wish that on anyone," said Lafon. 

Lafon, Napper and Perry all spoke at the hearing. They described their physical injuries, from facial and skull fractures to concussions, and they also described the injuries you can't see. 

"I have to pass that parking lot every day. I actually deliver to Spike's so I have to go into that parking lot two times a week and, every time I go through that parking lot I constantly think about it," said Perry. 

During the hearing, Sprouse's family and fiancee showed their support, speaking about his struggles with alcohol and the love he has for his daughter. Then Sprouse spoke, apologizing to the men he hurt and saying that earlier marital issues drove him to drink. He said his actions that night were a mistake but were not malicious.  

"I'm just, again, sorry for everyone involved because of my lack of judgment on that night," said Sprouse.

In the end, the apology was not enough.

For the crimes of maiming while under the influence, driving without a license, hit and run and a second DUI, Sprouse will serve 3 years and 60 days.

The sentence exceeds the guidelines for the crimes but the judge said the facts of the case were "extreme and dangerous." Sprouse's license is suspended indefinitely. After his release, he will be on supervised probation for five years. 
 

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