DUI/Manslaughter Case Reversed on Appeal

The case of a Fort Walton Beach man who was convicted of DUI/Manslaughter is going back to court.

The First District Court of Appeal has reverse the sentence imposed by Judge John Brown in the case of 38-year-old Joseph Patrick Schumacher.

On December 17th, 2009, Schumacher dropped off his father 67-year-old Stephen G. Schumacher at the father's home on Woodbine Circle. The father's legs became tangled in the seat-belt. The son drove away, dragging his father about a half-a-mile, then fled the scene.

Joseph Schumacher was involved in 2-crashes as he tried to escape. The father, Stephen Schumacher died.

After he was convicted of DUI Manslaughter in last year's trial, Judge Brown sentenced Schumacher to 2-years community control, followed by 8-years probation. But the state appealed, saying the sentence was illegal because it did not include the minimum-mandatory 4-year prison sentence required by law.

Wednesday the appellate judges agreed and are sending Schumacher back to court for re-sentencing.

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