Man pleads guilty in fatal DUI crash

Published 9:57 pm Tuesday, November 27, 2012

A 28-year-old man pleaded guilty this month to involuntary manslaughter and other charges stemming from an accident on March 6, 2011.

William Byrum Davis, who was 26 when the accident occurred, entered the pleas at a pre-trial hearing. His trial had initially been set to begin Dec. 20.

The crash occurred in the 400 block of Glen Haven Drive, in the Holland area, about 1:41 a.m. that night. Hollyann Heinrich, 23, of Waverly, died after being ejected from the 2005 Chevrolet pickup. Another passenger, Dustin Bishop, who was 23 at the time, was injured.

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A beer bottle and liquor bottle were found in the wreckage of the truck, according to a search warrant filed in the case. Several other beer bottles were found strewn about the yard where the truck landed.

Davis initially admitted to being the driver but then recanted and said he did not know who was driving, according to the search warrant.

Heinrich’s father, Steve Heinrich, said he will be traveling to Suffolk for the sentencing hearing, set for Jan. 23. Other family members also plan to attend.

“I think he should get the full sentence,” Heinrich said. “At his age, he should have been more responsible.”

Davis pleaded guilty to a charge of involuntary manslaughter/alcohol, which was reduced from aggravated involuntary manslaughter, as well as maiming while driving while intoxicated and a misdemeanor charge of first-offense driving while intoxicated.

A charge of reckless driving was not prosecuted as a result of a plea agreement.

He faces a maximum sentence of 16 years, special prosecutor Cedric Wiggins of Portsmouth said. Wiggins was appointed, because Davis’ attorney is a law partner of Commonwealth’s Attorney C. Phillips Ferguson’s brother.