Man Sentenced for Lake Martin Boating Death

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By Jessica Gertler

A Montgomery man is sentenced to five years, but will only serve one in the Elmore County Jail after pleading guilty for the death of a woman in a Lake Martin boating accident. Brian Little's attorney calls the sentencing just, but the victim's family says it's nothing but a slap on the wrist. Little had no comment after receiving one year in Elmore County jail and three years probation for a homicide by vessel charge that he pleaded guilty to last month. "The sentencing was very fair. I think some of the things that Brian had taken initiative to do before today certainly helped with the sentencing," says Little's attorney Buster Russell. In 2010, Ashley Williams fell off Little's pontoon boat. "Mr. Little was throttling around on the pontoon boat. Playing around and horsing around, which it caught them off balance and Ashley fell over the front," says Butch Williams, Ashley's father. Marine Police say Little, who was under the influence of alcohol, made no attempt to help Williams. Instead, they say he jumped into the water and swam to shore. Williams died from the boat's propellers. "He's human. He has remorse, but his remorse was he was worried about protecting himself. That's what I feel," says Butch Williams. Beth Williams says her sister is turning in her grave feeling defeated by the outcome. "My sister is very forgiving, so she would give sympathy to his parents. She would forgive him, but she would definitely not be okay with just a year in jail," says Beth Williams, Ashley's sister. She feels Alabama's boating under the influence laws are too lenient, and will do everything she can to change that. "The only way i know how to move on is by keeping my sister's memory alive by changing the laws. Making sure other families don't have to experience what we have had to experience," Beth Williams says. The maximum sentencing for homicide by vessel is five years Little will also have to pay a thousand dollars in court fines.

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