Comments Off on Gaffney woman receives 20 years in prison for wreck under the influence of Methamphetamine that killed her daughter, injured two others

A Gaffney woman was sentenced to 20 years in prison followed by 5 years of probation today after she admitted in court Thursday to causing the wreck that claimed the life of her 8-year-old daughter and injured two others.

Samantha Gail Rhinehart

Samantha Gail Rhinehart, 28, pleaded guilty to reckless homicide, two counts of first-degree assault and battery and child endangerment, according to a written statement from the 7th Circuit Solicitor’s Office. Judge Mark Hayes sentenced Rhinehart to 20 years in prison, followed by a consecutive 10-year prison sentence that was suspended to 5 years of probation.

Anna Marie Rhinehart, 8, died as a result of multiple head trauma sustained during the single-car wreck Jan. 11, on Corinth Road about 7 miles south of Gaffney. The deceased was one of seven passengers riding in the 2001 Ford truck driven by her mother, authorities said.

Samantha Rhinehart was driving about 62 miles an hour in a 45 mph zone when she ran off the right shoulder of the road, overcorrected and went off the left side of the road. The truck traveled down an embankment and struck a tree. Anna Marie Rhinehart was thrown from the wreckage. Two other passengers sustained injuries.

Samantha Rhinehart, who was driving with a suspended driver’s license, admitted to driving under the influence of methamphetamine. She was initially charged with felony driving under the influence with a death and two counts of felony driving under the influence with great bodily injury. The charges were altered after State Law Enforcement Division lab tests revealed the presence of methamphetamine in her urine and not her blood. The finding meant she recently ingested the drug but the timing questioned the impairment of her driving.

“This case is a senseless tragedy,” Solicitor Barry Barnette said. “Samantha Rhinehart had no business driving and placing so many people in harm’s way.”

Samantha Rhinehart’s prior criminal record included multiple convictions for driving under suspension for forgery, according to the solicitor’s office.


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