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| Shapiro, Appleton & Washburn

Mark Schneider will spend a year in jail after drunkenly hitting pedestrian Irene Carson last Christmas Eve, a Williamsburg-James City County circuit court judge ruled this week.

Schneider, 39, struck Carson, 72, as Carson crossed Francis Street East in Williamsburg, the Daily Press reported. Francis Street runs along the southern edge of what is generally considered historic Williamsburg.

"You are an example to the community of what can happen when you drink to excess and drive," Judge Samuel Powell of Williamsburg-James City County said to Schneider during the sentencing hearing.

Carson, of Chadds Ford, Pa., was apparently not at the hearing. But the Daily Press said she suffered multiple skull fractures in the crash and will likely never recover fully.

Schneider works as a historic interpreter at Colonial Williamsburg; a manager there testified at the sentencing hearing that Schneider can keep his job.

Schneider can serve his sentence at the Virginia Peninsula Regional Jail on weekends; he is to report for his first day on Dec. 24, a year after the crash.

Schneider had a blood-alcohol content of .19, meaning almost two-tenths of one percent of his blood was alcohol. In Virginia, .08 is the legal minimum for intoxication, though drivers can be arrested with lesser levels if they are driving in a manner a police officers thinks indicates intoxication.

Schneider pleaded guilt to a charge of felony assault, the Daily Press said. A charge of maiming while driving was not ruled upon by the judge, who can dismiss it later if he chooses.

About the Editors: Shapiro, Cooper, Lewis & Appleton personal injury law firm (VA-NC law offices ) edits the injury law blogs Virginia Beach Injuryboard, Norfolk Injuryboard, and Northeast North Carolina Injuryboard as a pro bono service to consumers.



  1. Gravatar for rld

    It is horrible that CW officials testified on behalf of Mr. Schneider, a historical interpreter. He will barely be inconvenienced after getting drunk and driving over Irene Carson last Christmas. Ms. Carson has gravely injured and spent months in jail. CW testified in support of Schneider and stated that they would continue to employee him even if he was convicted of felony maiming. This after they laid off over a hundred employees last year this time. They choose to retain a 39 year old man who breaks the law and maims 71 year old woman. The sentenced allows him to remain employed and serve on the week-ends. I am so sad for the victim and angry at a ruling that is so very unjust - the punishment simply does not fit the crime. In addition, how can Colonial Williamsburg justify testifying on behalf of a criminal and continuing to employee him. I know of others (not white males) who have been fired from CW for far less. I am outraged by this ruling and CW's actions.

  2. Gravatar for Emily Mapp Brannon
    Emily Mapp Brannon


    I certainly understand your frustration with the Colonial Williamsburg employees who testified on behalf of the defendant. I would have to agree that it is strange that they testified on his behalf given the reckless disregard for human life that this man displayed. My thoughts are with the woman he hit and her family. The punishment does not fit the crime. Thank you for your commentary.

    Emily Brannon

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