Effingham County Teen Found Not Guilty - Local news, weather, sports Savannah | WSAV On Your Side

UPDATE: Effingham County Teen Sentenced to 12 Months

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Whitney Newman was killed in crash back in 2010 Whitney Newman was killed in crash back in 2010
Neil Morgan was killed in accident back in 2010 Neil Morgan was killed in accident back in 2010

A judge has sentenced Robbie Stone to 12 months in prison. The sentence, records show, is the maximum for reckless driving.

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After two full days of testimony, it took a jury a little over two hours to come up with a not guilty verdict in the vehicular homicide trial of an Effingham County teen.

Robbie Stone was charged with vehicular homicide in connection with the deaths of Neil Morgan and Whitney Newman.  

They both died in an accident in Springfield while stone was driving back in 2010.

There were six teens riding in the Geo Tracker from one party to another when the crash occurred.

Survivors of that crash took center stage in an emotional day of testimony.  

Amanda Duff and Kristin Westenbarter both say robbie stone wasn't drinking, but was driving erratically at times.  both girls added that the front seat passenger, Neil Morgan, was horsing around before the accident and they had to tell both Neil and Robbie to "chill out."   

"You were waking up after the wreck had happened?" asked the defense.
"Yes." said a crying Kristin Westenbarter.

"I remember Lindsay turning to both me and Kristen and said, you just have to trust him," explained Amanda Duff. "You just have to trust him. The next thing I remember is just laying on the ground."

When the defense got its turn, Trey Davis was called to the stand.  

Davis testified about what his girlfriend, Kristin, told him in a phone call soon after the wreck.

"Neil was hanging out of the rail bars of the car," Davis said. "Robbie snatched him wherever he snatched him at, the pants or his legs. Hit the steering wheel, lost control. Robbie tried to correct it. It was too late."

Stone said the drive was normal, he was just trying to get everyone home, up until he says Neil started "horsing around" and Stone lost control of the car.

"Neil stands up and lays on the windshield from his waist up. I had to grab him because he was going to roll off."
"I tried to steer it back straight."
"Were you successful at all?"
"I was, but the momentum of the car caused it to flip."

An emotional Stone then talked about what Neil Morgan's family said to him later that night at the hospital.

"She said listen man, you don't talk that way about this boy."
"The Morgans said that?"
"We don't blame him for nothing."
Just hours later, the jury came back with a not guilty verdict on both counts of vehicular manslaughter, but guilty on a charge of reckless driving.

A visibly shaken Robbie Stone didn't speak after the trial, but his mother did say, "Give god the glory, he is free."
Prosecutors meanwhile, hoped for a better result.

"All I can say is that I hope the verdict, such that it is, when he gets sentenced, will bring some closure to these families to case that desperately needs to be closed for them," explained Brian Deal, Assistant Effingham County District Attorney.

Robbie Stone will be sentenced on the reckless driving charges next Thursday.  

It's a misdemeanor charge, but a judge could sentence him to up to a year in jail.

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