News 12 at 11 o'clock, November 2, 2009
WAYNESBORO, Ga.---For one Waynesboro family, it's a fight for justice...and it's a fight they say seems never-ending.
Shane Ide and Jessica Ide Brantley lost their father to a man arrested for driving under the influence, and it would not be his last DUI arrest. News 12 takes you inside the courtroom and talks to the people who want to make this latest arrest his final one.
Doug Ide was killed by a man charged with DUI in 2002. Ide failed to yield and a toxicology report showed he had a blood alcohol content of .04. Seven years later, that same driver is in trouble again with the law, arrested again for DUI.
A week ago, Jack Bailey was set to appear for his fourth DUI arrest. News 12's cameras were in court and so was the Ide family, but Bailey never showed.
In Georgia, more than 600 people die every year in alcohol and drug related car crashes. Doug Ide is one of the many, but for his family, he's the only number that counts.
"I can't remember one day that ever went by that he didn't tell me that he loved me," said Doug Ide's son Shane.
Doug died in a car crash seven years ago. Jack Bailey was behind the wheel of the second car. Bailey was speeding, driving 85 miles per hour and had methamphetamine and ecstacy in his system.
"It's hard to let it go, and it's hard not to be a little bit bitter about it," said Shane.
Ide's family says it's especially hard because it wasn't Bailey's first time--it was his third DUI arrest. The first charge was reduced. Bailey pleaded guilty to the second one. The third case turned into felony vehicular homicide. Then, weeks after being released from probation, Bailey was picked up for DUI arrest number four.
"What does that say about our judicial system? You know what I mean? It's almost like he's laughing in their face and nobody's going to do anything," Shane said.
"It does make me very angry that someone thinks that they don't have to pay attention to the laws that the rest of us pay attention to," Jessica said.
Shane and Jessica would love to move past the crash that took their father's life, but they say they can't. They're in court again with their mother, arguing that the man responsible is still dangerous.
"We're just extremely concerned about his behavior and the safety of our community and everyone on the road between here and Waynesboro," Doug Ide's widow, Deborah Ide-Martin, said in court.
And while a judge's verdict will never bring their loved one back, the family feels it will makes the streets safer.
"We will probably never have the justice that we feel like we deserve, but at least everybody else's family can be safe," said Deborah.
But Bailey was a no show in court.
"Again, like so many other times, it just feels like such a slap in the face," Jessica said.
"I have to remind my kids they have to be patient," Deborah said. "Sometimes it doesn't go as fast as you think it should, but hopefully we will have some justice in the end here."
Mothers Against Drunk Driving says the laws are not tough enough and that too many repeat offenders, like Jack Bailey, fall between the cracks.
"The statistics show that there are about 70 percent of the DUI arrests are repeat offenders," said Denise Thames, director of Georgia's MADD. "So when you look at that, it's saying, 'Okay, I did this, I got away with it. I''m able to do this again.'"
Doug's family says he should have been there to walk his youngest daughter down the aisle on her wedding day. Instead, "A World's Greatest Father" mug sits where he should have.
"I just feel like we got cheated out of a lot," Shane said.
"He didn't stop when he killed my dad; he's not gonna stop at this one," Jessica said. "It won't happen, because he doesn't think he has a problem, and he doesn't think the rules apply for him."
Jack Bailey spoke extensively with News 12, but ultimately refused an on-camera interview.
"Not a day goes by where I don't think about that man losing his life and me being involved," Bailey said. "I had to spend the night (in jail) and I had 200 hours of community service. I've been through a lot. Do you know how much 200 hours of community service is? It's a lot, that's every weekend for three months. This last one, I thought I could drive...it was barely even a DUI."
So as Bailey eventually fights his fourth DUI arrest, this time there's going to be a group of people fighting back in the courtroom across from him.
"I think he should be put in jail," Shane said. "I think he should be made -- at least make an attempt to make him change."
"I want him to have to suffer consequences for his actions, and I more than anything I would love for him to change," Jessica said.
"If nothing else we would like for this young man to get some help," said Deborah. "Get some help, so that you will be around for your children and parents."
Jack Bailey did not show for his court appearance in Wadley for his most recent DUI. The judge ordered a bench warrant be issued on Bailey. His attorney stated medical reasons kept him from appearing, but as of late Tuesday afternoon, the warrant has yet to be dismissed and a warrant is still out for his arrest.
The Ide family did sue Jack Bailey in civil court in 2006. The case was dismissed with prejudice, which means the two settled out of court, and the case can not be re-opened. The Ide family received an undisclosed amount of money in that settlement.