Man pleads not guilty to two counts of murder

By: Angela Sparkman Email
By: Angela Sparkman Email

A Floyd County man charged with two counts of murder after a deadly crash earlier this year appears in court.

James Slone is accused of driving under the influence on June 1st when he crashed into another car, killing his passenger 43 year old Karen Mitchell, and the other driver, 36 year old Jeffrey Hamilton of Allen.

A Floyd County grand jury indicted Slone in September. He was arrested on October 11th.

Tuesday morning, James Slone pleaded not guilty to two counts of murder, four counts of assault, and DUI.

Several of victim Jeffrey Hamilton's family members, who were also in the car but survived the crash, were in court to face Slone.
The family says each day is harder without him.
"There's been nights we can't sleep. You go to bed thinking of your loved one. You wake up thinking of him. The smile, those happy eyes, we don't have that to come back to," said Sister-in-law Clara Hamilton.

On June 1st, the family says Hamilton was building a swimming pool for his seven year old son. He, his wife Kim, and parents were going to get needed items when police say James Slone was driving under the influence, crossed the center line on Route 122, and hit them head on. Both Slone's passenger Karen Mitchell and Jeffrey Hamilton died.
"To explain to a seven year old why his daddy's not there, it's hard to do," said Clara Hamilton.
Kim Hamilton says her son "was crying for him this morning."

Kim Hamilton was six months pregnant at the time of the crash. She also suffered severe injuries and almost lost the baby in addition to her husband of 18 years. "I'll never recover from this never," said Kim Hamilton.
The baby is now seven weeks old. The family grieves the that child will never know his father.
"It's unbearable, the only way you can describe it," said Clara Hamilton.

Slone pleaded not guilty to the charges. His attorney declined to comment.

"He has the chance to see his pictures of his children growing, even if he is in jail. We don't have that opportunity anymore because of somebody behind the wheel that shouldn't have been," said Clara Hamilton.

Slone's bond is one million dollars. He has a pre-trial conference scheduled for January 12th, 2012.

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