Sylacauga man sentenced to 26 years for murder in drunk driving - WCIV-TV | ABC News 4 - Charleston News, Sports, Weather

Sylacauga man sentenced to 26 years for murder in drunk driving case

Posted: Updated:
Robert Charles Pate, III (Photo: Talladega County Sheriff's Office) Robert Charles Pate, III (Photo: Talladega County Sheriff's Office)
TALLADEGA, Ala. - A Sylacauga man involved in a deadly wreck while driving drunk will go to prison for murder.

Robert Charles Pate III, 53, pleaded guilty in April to the murder of 19-year-old Christin Leigh Thrash and assault of Thrash's mother, Tisha Pate.  The Pates are not related.

Thrash died November 16, 2012, in a wreck on Sylacauga Fayetteville Highway about one mile west of Sylacauga.  Thrash, her fiancé, their six-month-old daughter, and her younger brother were riding with Tisha Pate.  Robert Pate's car struck the family's SUV, causing it to flip.

"We saw him coming," Tisha Pate said.

"He was approaching from our right and [Christin] said 'Mama, look out,' and those were the last words I heard her say, were "Mama look out.'  And the next thing I know, he hit, and it caused us to flip and she was ejected out her window."

Thrash died on impact.  Tisha Pate said she blamed herself for her daughter's death.

"I was the driver that night, when he hit us.  In my heart of hearts, I blamed myself for not doing more to protect my daughter.  Even though I know there was nothing I could do," she said.

"But as a parent you feel like you're supposed to protect your kids.  I feel like I didn't protect her enough."

Tisha Pate suffered significant injuries and has not regained full function of her left hand.  She said doctors want to perform surgery, but she can't afford to do it because she has to take care of Thrash's daughter, Moriah, who turns two next month.

The family faced Robert Pate in court Tuesday afternoon.  The judge gave Tisha Pate the opportunity to speak, and she read a prepared statement.

"I just told him... how close my daughter and I were.  What relationship that we had, and what I missed," she said about her message to Robert Pate.

"She will never be able to be the mother she wanted to be to [Moriah].  She wanted to be a neonatal nurse,.  She'll never get that opportunity because he chose to get behind the wheel and drive drunk."

Investigators say Robert Pate's blood-alcohol level was more than twice the legal limit when the wreck occurred at 5:40 p.m.  Judge William Hollingsworth III sentenced him to 26 years in prison.

Tisha Pate said she wishes the punishment were longer, but said it helps her close a chapter in the ordeal she went through.  She hopes others will learn from what happened and not make the same decisions as Robert Pate.

"Please think before you get behind the wheel drunk," she said.

"Think about what you would do if you hit somebody like myself and took a child from their mother, or a mother and a father from their kids."
  • Central Alabama NewsMore>>

  • Justin Bieber arrested on assault, dangerous driving charges, according to Ontario police

    Justin Bieber arrested on assault, dangerous driving charges, according to Ontario police

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 1:42 PM EDT2014-09-02 17:42:52 GMT
    Canadian pop star Justin Bieber faces new charges after police said Tuesday he was arrested for dangerous driving and assault following a collision between a minivan and an ATV that led to a physical altercation in southwestern Ontario.More >>
    Canadian pop star Justin Bieber faces new charges after police said Tuesday he was arrested for dangerous driving and assault following a collision between a minivan and an ATV that led to a physical altercation in southwestern Ontario.
    More >>
  • Video appears to show beheading of US journalist Steven Sotloff by ISIS

    Video appears to show beheading of US journalist Steven Sotloff by ISIS

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 1:26 PM EDT2014-09-02 17:26:17 GMT
    An Internet video purports to show the beheading of U.S. journalist Steven Sotloff by the Islamic State group.More >>
    An Internet video purports to show the beheading of U.S. journalist Steven Sotloff by the Islamic State group.
    More >>
  • Halliburton reaches $1.1Billion oil spill settlement

    Halliburton reaches $1.1Billion oil spill settlement

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 10:11 AM EDT2014-09-02 14:11:01 GMT
    Halliburton says it has agreed to pay $1.1 billion to settle a substantial portion of plaintiff claims arising from the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill. The settlement, which is subject to court approval, will be paid into a trust until appeals are resolved over the next two years.More >>
    Halliburton says it has agreed to pay $1.1 billion to settle a substantial portion of plaintiff claims arising from the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill. The settlement, which is subject to court approval, will be paid into a trust until appeals are resolved over the next two years.
    More >>
  • Birmingham Area NewsMore>>

  • Birmingham City Leaders address recent rash of killings

    Birmingham City Leaders address recent rash of killings

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 1:14 PM EDT2014-09-02 17:14:48 GMT
    Shown right is Birmingham City Councilman Jay Roberson. (abc3340.com)Shown right is Birmingham City Councilman Jay Roberson. (abc3340.com)
    Birmingham City leaders are urging for more public safety talks and action after the city suffered six killings since Friday.More >>
    Birmingham City leaders are urging for more public safety talks and action after the city suffered six killings since Friday.More >>
  • Birmingham police: Shooting outside Showstoppers Motorcycle Club leaves 2 dead, 2 wounded

    Birmingham police: Shooting outside Showstoppers Motorcycle Club leaves 2 dead, 2 wounded

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 1:11 PM EDT2014-09-02 17:11:57 GMT
    Police say at least 40 rounds were fired during a gun battle outside a Birmingham, Alabama, motorcycle club that killed two people and wounded two others.More >>
    Police say at least 40 rounds were fired during a gun battle outside a Birmingham, Alabama, motorcycle club that killed two people and wounded two others.
    More >>
  • Former Eastern Valley firefighter charged with setting fires near Meadow Lakes subdivision

    Former Eastern Valley firefighter charged with setting fires near Meadow Lakes subdivision

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 1:10 PM EDT2014-09-02 17:10:32 GMT
    The Jefferson County Sheriff's office arrested a 23-year-old man and charged him with three counts of intentionally setting a woodland fire. Between August 26th and August 29th, the Sheriff's office along with the Eastern Valley Fire Department responded to three woods fire near the Meadow Lakes subdivision in Eastern Valley. In each case, the fire was determined to be set intentionally. No homes was damaged. Firefighters reported seeing a man who was formerly a junior firefighter with the Ea...More >>
    The Jefferson County Sheriff's office arrested a 23-year-old man and charged him with three counts of intentionally setting a woodland fire. Between August 26th and August 29th, the Sheriff's office along with the Eastern Valley Fire Department responded to three woods fire near the Meadow Lakes subdivision in Eastern Valley. In each case, the fire was determined to be set intentionally. No homes was damaged. Firefighters reported seeing a man who was formerly a junior firefighter with the Ea...More >>
  • Anniston - Gadsden Area NewsMore>>

  • Clean out your cabinets for Drug Take-Back Day

    Clean out your cabinets for Drug Take-Back Day

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 1:38 PM EDT2014-09-02 17:38:07 GMT
    Do you have a drawer or cabinet of medicines? Are any of them out of date? Now is the time to check because you can safely dispose of the medications at the Etowah County Prescription Drug Take-Back Day. It is part of a nationwide effort. The event will be Saturday, September 27. A take-back station will be set up at the East Gadsden Walmart from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.A law enforcement officer will remain with the drug disposal box at all times, and the drugs that are turned in will be tr...More >>
    Do you have a drawer or cabinet of medicines? Are any of them out of date? Now is the time to check because you can safely dispose of the medications at the Etowah County Prescription Drug Take-Back Day. It is part of a nationwide effort. The event will be Saturday, September 27. A take-back station will be set up at the East Gadsden Walmart from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.A law enforcement officer will remain with the drug disposal box at all times, and the drugs that are turned in will be tr...More >>
  • Arrest made in large level extortion scheme

    Arrest made in large level extortion scheme

    Friday, August 29 2014 12:45 PM EDT2014-08-29 16:45:16 GMT
    "Everett Leon Stout, 72 and Miriam Clair Schultz, 67 are charged with 14 counts of extortion.More >>
    "Everett Leon Stout, 72 and Miriam Clair Schultz, 67 are charged with 14 counts of extortion.More >>
  • Gadsden police recover more than 300 stolen items; felony charges against suspected fence

    Gadsden police recover more than 300 stolen items; felony charges against suspected fence

    Thursday, August 28 2014 11:22 PM EDT2014-08-29 03:22:34 GMT
    Joe Walker Pearl (Photo: Etowah County Sheriff's Office)Joe Walker Pearl (Photo: Etowah County Sheriff's Office)
    Police in Gadsden are trying to return hundreds of stolen items to their rightful owners. Captain Paul Cody said officers bust a large fencing operation this week. Joe Pearl, 75, is the suspect in the case. It took a long time to sort through and document a very wide range of stolen property. "We've collected a lot of stuff," Cody said. "Toilet paper. We have non-firearms related weapons, we have karaoke machines, musical instruments, car stereos, underwear."More >>
    Police in Gadsden are trying to return hundreds of stolen items to their rightful owners. Captain Paul Cody said officers bust a large fencing operation this week. Joe Pearl, 75, is the suspect in the case. It took a long time to sort through and document a very wide range of stolen property. "We've collected a lot of stuff," Cody said. "Toilet paper. We have non-firearms related weapons, we have karaoke machines, musical instruments, car stereos, underwear."More >>
Most Popular
Stories
Videos
loading...
Powered by WorldNow

ABCNews4 WCIV-TV

888 Allbritton Dr.
Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464
843-881-4444 | Advertising Information

Public Information File

For assistance with accessing WCIV-TV's public information file, click here.

Advertising

Advertising Credit Application and Terms and Conditions PDF.

Powered by WorldNow
All content Copyright © 2014 WCIV and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.