Tammy Dianne Brown given $30,000 bond on felony DUI charges
by Robert Joseph Baker | August 31, 2014 6:42 pm
Last Updated: August 31, 2014 at 8:16 pm
Tammy Dianne Brown uttered four words as she entered the bond court of Clarendon County Magistrate Judge Pat Goodwin at the Clarendon County Detention Center on Sunday afternoon.
“Look at my babies,” she said, eyeing her children and a sister sitting in the back of the courtroom.
Goodwin granted Brown, 45, of 2929 Winters Hill Road in Manning, two $15,000 surety bonds on charges of felony DUI resulting in death and felony DUI resulting in great bodily injury. She was granted $287.50 personal recognizance bonds on lesser charges of transportation of alcohol with the seal broken and a seat belt violation.
Brown was taken to the jail earlier today after being treated overnight at Clarendon Memorial Hospital. She was injured in a vehicle wreck about 11:55 p.m. Saturday that took the life of a 34-year-old Manning man and sent another to a Florence hospital.
No family for Maurelio DeLeon appeared at Sunday’s bond hearing. DeLeon, of 1258 Audrey Lane in Manning, was declared dead at the scene of the wreck, which happened on Paxville Highway between Home Branch Road and J.W. Rhames Road. Clarendon County Coroner Hayes Samuels said DeLeon died from blunt force trauma to the chest and neck. He said no autopsy would be performed. A passenger in DeLeon’s truck was airlifted to McLeod Regional Medical Center in Florence. His condition was “not good,” as of 2 p.m. Sunday, according to Samuels.
According to the S.C. Highway Patrol, DeLeon was driving a 1994 Dodge Dakota and was struck by Brown’s 1999 Hyundai, causing the truck to veer off the highway and strike a tree.
After bond was set, Brown told a different story to Goodwin, however.
“I don’t know what happened,” she said, adding that she was on her way home. “I saw an 18-wheeler coming toward us, and he was trying to pass me. I guess he thought he had time. I don’t know what to do now. I didn’t know anything about anyone being killed until earlier today. I didn’t do this. I would never do anything like this.”
Brown told Goodwin that she had been at a small cookout, and that a friend had ridden in her car with her with a cup of alcohol. She said the cup was still in her car at the time of the wreck, but that she had not been drinking. No blood alcohol content information was immediately available from the Highway Patrol on Sunday.
“He just went around me, and all this happened,” Brown said, tearfully. “The next thing I know, the airbags are throwing me back.”
Goodwin told Brown that he is just “the bond court judge.”
“I’m not the guilt judge,” he said. “You will have a chance to tell your story in front of him.”
“It’s their words against my words,” Brown interjected. “They tell me I’ve done murdered someone else’s child. I would never do that. I got children of my own and a grandson. I have a good driving record. In 45 years I’ve never had anything like this. I’ve prayed. I just don’t know what to do. My life has changed.”
Tammy Dianne Brown requested a preliminary hearing. Her court date for the magistrate-level charges – transport of alcohol with a broken seal and seatbelt violation – is Oct. 15.
If convicted for felony DUI resulting in death, Brown faces one to 25 years in prison and between $10,100 and $25,100 in fines, along with license suspension for the term of imprisonment plus five additional years upon release. If convicted for felony DUI resulting in great bodily injury, Brown faces from 30 days in jail to 15 years in prison, along with $5,000 to $10,000 in fines, along with license suspension for the term of imprisonment plus three years.