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Woman sentenced in motorcyclist death

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By The Staff

It was almost two years to the day of a fatal accident south of Chiefland that caused the death of motorcyclist Marvin Hancock that Imogene Swafford was sentenced on a charge of negligent vehicular manslaughter.

On Wednesday, Circuit Judge Stanley Griffis III meted out three years and six months in prison, followed by two years community custody and eight years of drug offender probation. She will receive credit for serving seven months and 22 days in jail.

Although Swafford pleaded no contest to the charge, Griffis found her guilty on one of three charges originally filed in the case. He also assessed financial obligations and fees totaling $63,565.

The other charges — negligent manslaughter with a vehicle involving DUI causing death and DUI with property damage — were dropped or nolle pros by the State Attorney's Office.

It was June 6, 2011, at about 8 p.m. when Swafford was driving a 2002 Hyundai Sonata north on U.S. Highway 19 heading into Chiefland when the front of her vehicle collided with the rear of Hancock's 2008 Harley Davidson motorcycle in the outside lane, according to a Florida Highway Patrol report.

The accident caused Hancock to be thrown off the bike onto the eastern shoulder of the highway.

Swafford's vehicle pushed the bike for over 300 feet before the bike tumbled across the median and the southbound lanes of the highway before coming to rest on the opposite shoulder. Swafford's car came to rest in the median 600 feet from where the accident occurred.

Both Swafford and Hancock were residents of Old Town.