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Attorney for Man Accused in February Hit-and-Run Wants Evidence Suppressed

Former Bartow County resident William Wilson Heaton is accused of hitting Emily Bowman.

Emily Bowman was hit on Feb. 16.
Emily Bowman was hit on Feb. 16.
By Rebecca McCarthy

Cartersville attorney Anthony Perotta has filed a motion in Clarke County Superior Court to suppress evidence in a hit-and-run case allegedly involving his client, William Wilson Heaton, 23, a former Bartow County resident.

The Feb. 16 accident resulted in severe brain damage for Woodstock resident Emily Bowman, 20, a former Kennesaw University student, who had been walking along Oak Street in Athens with a friend.

According to a story in the Athens Banner-Herald, in a motion to suppress evidence filed in Clarke County Superior Court, Perotta claims that:
  • There's no evidence that his client was drunk when the accident happened;
  • Police threatened and coerced Heaton's parents to talk to them;
  • His client may have not been driving the Mazda pickup that hit Bowman;
  • Police illegally searched Heaton's vehicle; and
  • Evidence gathered from social media and cell phones should be suppressed.
Heaton faces charges that include DUI, open container, reckless driving, serious injury by vehicle, leaving the scene of a serious-injury accident, failure to report the accident, reckless driving and failure to maintain lane. Heaton has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

Heaton, now 23, remains at large on a $50,000 bond, wearing an ankle monitor and living with his mother in Oconee County. At the time of the accident, he was living with family in Rydal, just north of Cartersville.

Bowman remains at home with her parents in Woodstock. In an Oct. 11 post on her Facebook page, Bows for Bowman, her mother wrote:

Now as far as how Emily is doing - I really believe things are starting to emerge. In the last couple weeks she is now starting to grasp objects with her right hand - most of the time that is with us supporting her elbow and letting her move her hand. She has actually picked her arm up on her own several times as well. When I think back to when we were first at Shepherd though - this is how we started with her hand movement by holding her arm and supporting her elbow so it is basically like we are starting all over again but I see progress starting to happen! She is also starting to move her legs as well - and I did say LEGS!!!

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