Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Van Sice is now really free.

The killer of school teacher Leigh Ann Ward is now free.  MDOC released him from "earned supervised release" status on July 19.  He was convicted of manslaughter in the death of Ms. Ward in February 2012 and sentenced to six years in prison.    However, he only served 2 1/2 years of the term before MDOC granted him "earned supervised release" status in October 2014.  Such a status meant he only had to report to a probation officer on a regular basis and undergo drug testing. He is now serving five years of supervised probation but is free from MDOC custody. 

Such a classification meant he was not incarcerated after that date.   He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 20 years in prison but the court suspended 14 years of the sentence. 





WLBT reported on February 6, 2012:


Ethan Van Sice was a teenager when he was charged with killing a Madison-Ridgeland Academy teacher in August of 2010.

The Jackson man appeared in Hinds County Circuit Court Monday and entered a guilty plea to vehicular homicide in the death of Leigh Anne Ward.

He was 19 when his Toyota Tundra crashed into the 35 year old's Toyota Camry near her home in northeast Jackson.


"Her life was cut very short by somebody's irresponsible behavior," said Bobbie Ward.

The mother of the popular Madison-Ridgeland Academy teacher, is disappointed that he was never jailed and with the time he will serve.

In the plea agreement, Van Sice was sentenced to 20 years with 14 years suspended.

He will serve six years and received five years probation upon release.

The Jackson man apologized to the family, but Ward said they were empty words.

"You know it's easy to say you're sorry when something has already occurred, and you're doing that as a way to me of getting your sentence lighter," Ward said.

Ward also addressed Van Sice and the court sharing the pain her family suffered by his actions.


Credit: WLBT

 The only child of Dr. Frazier and Bobbie Ward was on her way home from school for her father's birthday dinner on August 17th of 2010 when witnesses said Van Sice was speeding down River Thames Road.
"He did not have to be running all over the street," Ward said. "He did not have to be knocking down the stop signs, and he would have killed a jogger if Mr. Smith down on River Thames had not hollered to the jogger and said get up in that yard."

Robert Schuler Smith, Hinds County District Attorney, said test results found no alcohol or drugs in the Jackson teenager's system. WLBT story.

The D.A. also said there was no evidence to substantiate claims that Van Sice was texting while driving. 



33 comments:

Anonymous said...

If overpopulated jails are the reason for this, we need to build some more damn jails.

Anonymous said...

Even though Smith is incompetent and deserves to be out of office, the Judge also needs to be thrown out.

Anonymous said...

Served 2 1/2 years of a 20-year sentence? That's about right. Legislators would rather create get-out-of-jail-free release programs rather than be tagged with having to raise taxes to build more jail space.

Anonymous said...

Ethan is a good kid who did not wake up that day thinking he would kill anyone. He was trying to make his way home to a family birthday party. I hope others can learn from this tragedy the dangers of texting and driving; I certainly have.

That event was a horrible one and Leigh Ann was a wonderful person who went to our church.

No need to fashion this post in such a way as to elicit hate and ill will. A wonderful person lost her life and her family broken; another will live with this burden for the rest of his life. That's something much heavier than any of us can understand.

I doubt you know either parties or have ever experienced tragic loss such as this--otherwise you might be more careful about your words. What kind of Good are you trying to achieve?

I challenge you to think about how true Grace and Justice manifests itself in this broken world. How can we reconcile the fact that Leigh Ann is no longer with us and Ethan now has a chance at a full life? We can't. But we must hope that from this tragedy Good manifests. That true Justice here is rehabilitation, and that Ethan, though he will never be the same, can move forward from this and do Good in this world. That others, like me, can use this example to not text and drive and teach others around us the same.

Anonymous said...

Oh shut the hell up 9:06.

Anonymous said...

Commute extensively on Interstates in the metro in the performance of my job.
The texting while driving problem is completely out of control.
The token law passed last session is an absolute joke.
The Legislature won't do a damn thing about this until one of their family members is killed as a result.
Guarantee you it is only a matter of time until that happens.
This comment has not been made here while driving or inside of any vehicle.

Kingfish said...

No way the kid was driving the speed limit in that neighborhood.

Perhaps I should FOIA the accident reconstruction report and see what the estimated speed was.

Anonymous said...

Was he on drugs or drunk when he hit and killed her? I can't remember the details. I DO remember though that he was driving way too fast on a residential street.

Anonymous said...

9:06- What a crock! Sure Ethan is a good kid, most are. What they need from parents like yourself is to be taught that they must take responsibility for their actions. How about a compromise? Spend EVERY Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights locked up in jail for the remainder of his 6 year sentance. Oh, that's right, you wouldn't want him to REALLY have to keep thinking about taking a life! (Plus for the next few years, his Christmas holidays would be behind bars!) Oh....the tears and torture!

Anonymous said...

9:06 Grace and Forgiveness happen behind bars too...

there's a good percentage of death row inmates who have found Jesus--they still take that walk down the 'green mile'

justice was not served.

Anonymous said...

Should have locked up the boy's mother

Anonymous said...

REALLY, 9:06! Nobody on this thread had said ONE WORD about that "good kid", when you trotted up to your little podium and started spewing your self righteous blather. Save it for Sunday School.

And what a HIDEOUS INSULT you words are, to Leigh Ann Ward's parents. If you really were a member of the Ward's church, I doubt you'd be "sharing" your "special insight" with us. That's because you'd have observed what utter devastation the creature caused, when it destroyed the life of that wonderful young woman.

Google Image still has images from Van Sice's Facebook page. "Good kids" don't label photos of themselves, 'Pimp'.

Anonymous said...

Hey 9:06, a good kid? Did you forget that he was arrested for shoplifting WHILE he was out on bond awaiting trial for manslaughter? He's not a good kid who just made a bad decision… he's a serial criminal. Judge Gowan did a disservice to this community by suspending 14 of the 20
years.

http://www.msnewsnow.com/story/15050274/van-sice-back-in-jail

Anonymous said...

Cell phone use and texting have led to a very diminished use of turn signal indicators.These simple indicators have immense impact on drive safety. USE THEM ALWAYS

Anonymous said...

Not only was he arrested for shoplifting, 10:15 : the item in question was a canister of COMPRESSED AIR. Maybe he was desperate to clean his computer's keyboard. But considering that the arresting officer noted that he appeared "agitated and under the influence of SOMETHING" (http://www.msnewsnow.com/story/15050274/van-sice-back-in-jail), I have to wonder if he didn't have the 'alternate use' in mind, for that compressed air.

Some people use compressed air to get high. Had he been huffing something, when he killed Leigh Ann Ward? Maybe that's why, after he hit the stop sign, a whole BLOCK before he killed Leigh Ann, he didn't look up from "texting", and get his vehicle under control. Hitting a stop sign is something you notice, unless you're totally WASTED.

Oh, and 10:13, it's MySpace, not FaceBook, where that "good kid" has got his 'Pimp' pic: https://myspace.com/mmmbiscuits/photos

Anonymous said...

A white boy in MS jails is like serving 10 years for every one year of sentence. So this is GOOD release. All you negative, vitrol, dumb ass commenters can go do some time in a MS jail. You'll sit on your typing fingers, I promise you this.

Guillotine Patrol said...

OK, angry mob, what would you prefer here? Hanging? Nails pulled by pliers? Castration? Daily caning? Group Rape twice a week? I don't know the answer to kids doing stupid shit and there probably isn't one, but, throwing away the key would not have accomplished anything. If it would have, name what it would have accomplished.

Anonymous said...

Gotta bring race into this @$$****. It doesn't matter what color he is. He got off way to easy. Last time I heard, blood is all the same color, and it's on his hands. Btw: I'm white.

Anonymous said...

HB 585 how wonderful

Anonymous said...

if memory serves me correctly, his speed at the time of the accident was appx. 60 mph

Anonymous said...

There are people with fast worse crimes than this released EVERY DAY!!! YES, it is tragic that a young woman died BUT that is not the only thing that sold be considered. If someone else had INTENDED to kill but had FAILED, you'd be perfectly happy with the time he served. Keeping this kid in jail for most of his life will not change ANYTHING. That's just revenge, pure & simple. If any of you claim to be Christian, you are failing miserably with this issue.

Anonymous said...

9:06 here.

My intention was not to say I had some special insight or to try to minimize the tragedy that occurred here. I too was angered, upset, and heartbroken over all of this. Personally, I have had a close relative taken from me due to violence. I have spent many years dealing with thoughts of Anger and Revenge.

Your responses of "Sunday School crap" really saddens me.

My only intention was to challenge all of us including myself to try and think about what is the most Good that could come out of this devastating tragedy. To truly think about our challenge to love our enemies like ourselves, to reject Vengeance and Revenge, to uphold Justice, and to Love.

I wish both parties and everyone involved much healing and all the best. I hope something good comes from all of this.

Anonymous said...

"Keeping this kid in jail for most of his life will not change ANYTHING." Six years is nothing sweetheart. It's the time sentenced and was deserved. Isn't it funny when you disagree with someone, religion has to be mentioned. Maybe a little ole fashion Christian discipline wouldn't hurt these youngsters who fail to obey the law. Thou shall not kill. Sorry KF, Now I did it, the holy rollers will be quoting the bible to prove me wrong.

Anonymous said...

The judge in this case reminds me of that spineless Robert Goza.

Bread and Water said...

Still waiting for the 'Hangin Crowd' to tell me what would be appropriate. How long in the slammer? How many years incarcerated? How many months should he be subjected to the fear and apprehension of confrontation with real thugs, rapists and head-bangers? What do you really want? State it! Lay it out! Make yourself clear!

Kingfish said...

I want him to serve his damn sentence or close to it.

Anonymous said...

Only in America... What a joke. He is lucky he was in hinds county when he killed and yes he did kill Ms. Ward.

I am sure the Fraziers will be out soon as well. Keep us posted Kingfish so we can be prepared.

Notices Selective Indignation said...

If memory serves, Kingfish was not at all 'out of sorts' over the home-sentence and subsequent release of Mrs. Irby. But those were yankees whom we did not know that she killed.

Kingfish said...

That is the second time you have made that stupid claim about both victims being Yankees. Pogue was from Mississippi. Liar.

Kingfish said...

He was doing 41 mph. He drove over a stop sign and drove erratically. He supposedly had his head down.

Now, and this IS speculation, the compressed air or whatever it was he got, that stuff is used in a mixture that leaves the bloodstream very quickly. As in if you don't test for it almost immediately, its not going to appear on a BAC. As I said, that is just speculation. No evidence for it but for his other arrest.

Anonymous said...

The problem here is two-fold. 1. The judge should not have suspended 14 years of the sentence. That was crazy. This is why we need more sentencing guidelines and less judicial discretion. 2. Earned release time credits should be calculated based on the entire sentence (20 years) rather than on the portion of the sentence they are actually servicing (6 years).

Anonymous said...

"Notices Selective Indignation said...
If memory serves, Kingfish was not at all 'out of sorts' over the home-sentence and subsequent release of Mrs. Irby. But those were yankees whom we did not know that she killed." July 30, 2015 at 6:17 AM

Considering that there is an entire Irby SECTION, encompassing YEARS of coverage related to that tragedy, here at Jackson Jambalaya, it is bizarre that you suggest Kingfish has somehow "gone easy" on Karen.

I repeat: there is an entire IRBY SECTION here. (It's like reading a novel about sleazy socialites - for free - and it's nonfiction! Better than Palm Beach Babylon!)

Anonymous said...

Her life is worth 20 years of his time. Period. Too many games being played every day in court.

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