Gloria Faith Dupree, a former University of West Georgia student, pleaded guilty last June to her involvement in the death of UWG student Matthew Dyas in 2011.
The woman, who teaches in Allenhurst, Ga., was sentenced to two years in prison on charges of driving under the influence and failing to yield the right of way. Dyas was on his motorcycle at the entrance to UWG’s football stadium when he was struck by Dupree’s vehicle.
In a condition which former Assistant District Attorney David Taylor described as atypical, the elementary school teacher was allowed to serve time at the Carroll County jail only during school breaks lasting three consecutive days or longer.
However, in a move that was not made known to the district attorney’s office, the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office released Dupree from Carroll County jail on July 9, 2012, on good behavior, 14 days before her summer jail term was supposed to end.
Dupree was in court in October, along with her legal counsel, Powder Springs-based attorney Anthony Hallmark, for a hearing on the state’s motion to “return to custody,” which would effectively send her back to jail to finish out the summer sentence sometime during her four-year probation.
Blackmon denied the motion, saying the state did not have the correct parties present for the hearing — the sheriff’s office would need representation, the judge said, since the hearing would mostly concern that office.
“What you’re asking is for the court to say the sheriff’s office would not have total discretion over earned time,” Blackmon said in October. “So I don’t think you have all the people you need here today.”
Since that hearing, the prosecution has dismissed the return-to-custody motion.
“I reviewed the case law and thought the court was correct in their reasoning,” said Assistant District Attorney Anne Allen, who handled the case during October’s hearing.
While Allen acknowledged Dyas’ family is upset over the dismissal, she said that “we are bound by law.”
Allen said Dupree has come to the Carroll County jail for some long weekends that were not designated by the sentencing recommendation since the ordeal, including the weekend of Martin Luther King Day, to make up for some of the 14 days missed.
During October’s hearing, Blackmon said he felt the state’s motion, if granted, was asking the judge to say that statute that the sheriff’s office is responsible for earned time does not apply to this case.
“If that is true, then it is not only Ms. Dupree and her attorney who will be opposed to it, but also the sheriff’s office who may be opposed to me making that declaration,” the judge said.
Dupree was arrested in October 2011 after her vehicle struck Dyas’ motorcycle while driving to the University of West Georgia’s homecoming game. Dyas, 20, died at the scene. He was a member of UWG’s men’s golf team.
Dupree, driving a 2006 Nissan Maxima, made a left turn from the westbound lane of Lovvorn Road and into the path of the motorcycle, according to the state patrol at the time of the accident.
Dupree was charged with five counts: homicide by vehicle in the second degree, reckless driving, driving under the influence, failure to yield right of way and following too closely.
Dupree was sentenced to four years of probation after her two years of jail time have expired. Her time in jail was required only when the school at which she teaches had breaks of three consecutive days or longer. That included summer break, fall break, winter break, spring break and any other breaks.
After a continuance last year, Allen said Dyas’ family was “very upset.”
“They feel like they’ve been jerked around by the system,” Allen said. “They bent over backwards working with us and the defendant to make sure that she could lead a normal life, and then this happens.”