Man Pleads Guilty to Murder in Fatal DUI Crash

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The Williamsburg-James City County Courthouse. (Staff Photo)
The Williamsburg-James City County Courthouse. (File Photo)

A man admitted to being drunk when he drove his truck into the wrong lane and collided with another car head-on, killing the other driver.

Robert Paul Twiddy, of Mathews County, pleaded guilty last week to one count each of felony murder, third or subsequent offense of driving under the influence and driving on a suspended license.

Twiddy was driving a GMC pickup in the wrong lane of Pocahontas Trail the night of Feb. 7 when he struck an oncoming Cadillac.

Jerry Matthew Minkins, the Cadillac’s driver, was pronounced dead upon his arrival at Riverside Doctors’ Hospital.

Twiddy was airlifted from the crash scene to Norfolk General Hospital, where he remained in a coma for three weeks. Police obtained search warrants for his medical records, from which they determined he had a blood alcohol concentration of .155 at the time of the crash.

Twiddy was found guilty of driving under the influence in Mathews County in September 2014 and in the City of Hampton in November 2013, making the James City County incident his third DUI charge in less than two years.

Prior to his hearing Oct. 19, Twiddy entered into a plea agreement with the prosecution that saw one count of aggravated DUI manslaughter dropped in exchange for him entering a guilty plea on the other three charges.

Like aggravated manslaughter, felony murder charges apply to cases in which the perpetrator did not necessarily intend to kill someone but in which killing someone is a foreseeable consequence of one’s reckless behavior. Felony murder is the more severe of the two charges and stems from the felony DUI third offense charge.

The remaining charges carry a maximum sentence of 46 years in prison, with 40 years stemming from the murder charge, five years from the DUI third offense charge and one year from the driving on a suspended license charge.

Twiddy will be sentenced Dec. 16.

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