Trial Begins in Jake & Griffin Prince Boating Deaths


The Prince Family at the Signing Ceremony for SB 136 ~~ Photograph by Robert Sutherland
The Prince Family at the Signing Ceremony for SB 136 ~~ Photograph by Robert Sutherland

Jake and Griffin Prince were fatally injured in a boating accident on Lake Lanier on June 18, 2012.

Almost 17-months later the man accused of causing their deaths,  Paul J. Bennett, 45, of Cumming, is about to defend himself against eight counts of homicide by vessel, failure to render aid, reckless operation of a vessel and boating under the influence, for his alleged actions.

As we have previously reported, the homicide by vessel charges are punishable with a three-year to 15-year sentence.  The other counts against Mr. Bennett are misdemeanors, punishable by a maximum sentence of one year in jail.

The Gainesville Times posted many details online on November 4, 2013.

Click Here for the Times’ Story

We regret that the families of Jake & Griffin Prince will not be avoided the anguish that such a trial will potentially cause.

They expressed this sentiment on their Facebook page on October 27, 2013:

Paul Bennett, the man who killed our children, was offered a deal by the District Attorney.  They were hoping to spare our family and our dear friends further pain and suffering.  Paul Bennett has rejected the deal and has decided instead to fight all the charges and force us to endure a trial.  He still has the option to accept the deal at any time.  We are praying that he will.  If he won’t, we are praying for the strength to make it through what will be a very painful trial.

If any good came from this tragedy, it might be the passage of Senate Bill 136 — the Jake and Griffin Prince BUI Law — that changed Georgia’s laws regarding the legal blood-alcohol limits for boat operators from 0.10 to 0.08, the same as for the state’s motor vehicle operators.

We extend our sympathies to everyone involved.

Click Here for Background on this Story

About Author

Robert J. Sutherland is a travel writer enjoying life in Gainesville, GA.
Robert has two adult daughters, seven practically perfect grandchildren and a zippy Kawasaki. Contact Robert at [email protected].

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