Local News

Fatal Accident May Spur Changes In Habitual Offender Law

Posted February 15, 2005

— A man charged with murder in connection with a weekend car accident made his first court appearance on Tuesday. Some question why the person, who has prior DWI convictions, was still allowed to be on the road.

Kenneth Maready, who also goes by the last name Morrow, faces a second-degree murder charge, among others. Investigators say Maready was drunk and driving a stolen truck with a revoked license when he ran into Kay Stokes' car, killing her on Saturday.

In court, Assistant District Attorney Kendra Montgomery-Blin read a list of charges against Maready, which includes nine previous DWI convictions in Durham and Wake counties.

A judge set Maready's bond at $1 million. During the bond hearing, members of Stokes' family told the judge about the pain they feel about losing their loved one.

"This murderer shouldn't be allowed to murder again. Nobody will ever know the hurt that I am going through," said Calvin Parrot, Stokes' brother.

Despite Maready's prior DWIs, he has never been tried as an habitual offender. State law requires a person have four convictions within a seven-year period to be considered habitual. A governor's task force recently recommended extending the time period to 10 years.

Maready's next court appearance is scheduled for March.

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