Manslaughter Trial in Arkansas Crash Set for April

An Arkansas man faces more than 20 years in prison for his role in the car accident that killed the borough's deputy DPW director and injured the borough administrator and his brother.

A jury trial for a 45-year-old Arkansas man charged with manslaughter in the death of Chatham Borough's DPW deputy director has been set for 9 a.m. April 3.

James T. Hearon, of Wade, Ark., has been charged with manslaughter for Charles Dziedzic's death in April 2012.

Manslaughter is a "C" felony under Arkansas law that carries a penalty of 3 to 10 years in jail and/or a $10,000 fine for Dziedzic's death in a car crash in April 2012, according to Lonoke County Prosecutor Chuck Graham.

In addition to the manslaughter charges, Hearon also faces two counts of second-degree battery, a "D" felony in Arkansas, for the injuries to Robert and George Falzarano. Each count has a penalty of up to six years in jail and/or a $10,000.

Hearon was driving his Chevrolet Tahoe on I-40 outside of Little Rock when he struck Charles Dziedzic, Robert Falzarano and George Falzarano.

The three men were returning from a cross-country road trip on their motorcycles. All three were wearing their helmets.

According to the arrest warrant affidavit for Hearon, the black box on Hearon's Tahoe indicated he was traveling at 70 miles-per-hour four seconds before the accident and 69 miles-per-hour at three, two and one seconds before the accident. From eight to one seconds before impact, Hearon did not apply the brakes.

Hearon denied drinking alcohol or using his cell phone at the time of the accident.

Dziedzic, the deputy director of Chatham Borough's Department of Public Works, was killed instantly. Brothers George and Robert, who is the borough administrator, were seriously injured and hospitalized for several weeks.

shook the Chatham Borough community.

The arrest affidavit was completed on Aug. 6, and charges were filed on Sept. 6, according to Graham. 

Under Arkansas law, Graham said, prosecutors have one year from when charges are filed to begin trial. The law does allow for continuances and other delays.

Robert Falzarano returned to work in Chatham Borough after what Engineer Vincent J. DeNave called "a miraculous recovery."


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