Driver jailed for two years for killing jogger

| 13/10/2016 | 54 Comments
Cayman News Service

Donovan Kellyman

(CNS): Donovan Kellyman (26) was jailed Thursday after he received a two-year sentence for causing the death of Marcia Donaldson in April 2015 following an early morning collision in South Sound. The George Town man, who pleaded guilty in July to causing death while driving under the influence and careless driving, was taken into custody for the first time after spending the 18 months since he was arrested on bail. The court heard that Kellyman was doing around 47mph when he struck Donaldson, who was jogging on the shoulder of the road.

It appears from the accident reconstruction that he could have momentarily fallen asleep, as he did not take any evasive action before hitting Donaldson and then colliding with a light pole.

At the scene of the accident Kellyman, who remained there and tried to assist, indicated that he had not seen the jogger, although she was wearing a bright lime green top, and that his headlights were switched to high-beam, but did believe that he was driving too fast. Three hours after the accident a breathalyzer proved he had been drinking.

A social enquiry report revealed that Kellyman had worked until 11:30pm on the night before he killed Donaldson. He had then gone to a party, where he had a few drinks. When he left, he had given a ride to a number of friends, believing he was not intoxicated, before he heading in the direction of his own home.

This, coupled with the fact that he had failed to take evasive action, led the judge to believe that Kellyman had fallen asleep at the wheel of his Suzuki Vitara as he drove along South Sound Road.

As Justice Micheal Wood handed down the sentence, he said that what had happened was “a tragedy” for Kellyman, who had, according to the social enquiry report, shown significant genuine remorse and was at the start of a “glittering career”, but it was a tragedy he brought upon himself, the judge said.

Justice Wood added that it was a far greater tragedy for the Donaldson family, who had given very measured victim impact statements describing the pain of their loss of a “loving, generous and jovial” mother, grandmother, sister and friend.

the judge further noted some concerns about Kellyman’s references, which were glowing but included worrying elements that indicated he was drinking too much and working very long hours. Despite his remorse, he had not learned anything from the crash because he did not believe that it was drink which contributed to him hitting Donaldson.

The judge said Kellyman was “working non-stop and then partying all hours”, which worried even his friends as he appeared not to be sleeping.

“I am satisfied that you must have fallen asleep through a combination of drink and tiredness, otherwise you could not have failed to see Marcia Donaldson,” he said, adding that Kellyman was both speeding and driving under influence when he should not have been driving at all.

Taking account of all of the circumstances of the case and the sentencing guidelines, the judge explained how he had arrived at the two-year term. Kellyman was also disqualified from driving for five years, before he was taken into custody to being serving his sentence.

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Category: Courts, Crime

Comments (54)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Donavan is a very competent speaker… it would be great, upon his release, if he would go around all of the high schools in Cayman and do a series of assemblies on the dangers and consequences of drinking & driving… in other words, telling his story.

    • Anonymous says:

      So a person who knowingly drinks, gets into his car, kills an innocent woman and all he gets is two years. A person overstays in Cayman, not that it is right, but didn’t hurt anyone and he gets two years….am I missing something here???

  2. Anonymous says:

    Very sad for all those directly affected. A hard lesson for this young man but I think fair if compared to the slime who hit the people outside the ritz and did not render assistance but instead lied and tried to evade responsibility.

  3. jay says:

    So its better to kill someone while drunk and behind the wheel of any vehicle than having a gun or drugs in your possession whippie! “2 years and I’m out to party harder” poor miss Don

  4. Anonymous says:

    Should be longer.

  5. Veritas says:

    Why did it take 3 hours to breathalyze him?.

    • Anonymous says:

      In Little Cayman they don’t breathalyze DEH drivers at all, after destroying the garbage truck, property in the dump, and wrecking his own car , all within an hour.
      The other guy detroyed the DEH pick up truck, driving it at night, a time when the pick up was supposed to be parked in the dump.
      And for some weird reason they are still getting paid, what a joke.

  6. CGS says:

    I am not familiar with the laws here so I am curious to know if he had not been drinking but had just fallen asleep after working long hours, it would still be vehicular manslaughter but would there be automatic jail time?

    I have heard of another case of a lady hitting someone in Spotts and killed them but she didn’t go to jail, I don’t think she was even charged.

    My condolences to the Donaldson family and I must commend this young man for remaining at the scene and actually attempting to assist and he took responsibility and pled guilty, most don’t and try to beat the charge. Am sure these counted for something during the judge’s deliberations on his sentence.

    Putting the young man in prison for a longer time does not bring back the lady and it will achieve nothing more except a bigger taxpayer bill.

    Would it make the family and the public feel better if he was put in there for 10 years? One cannot equate the time served in jail to a life lost. He seems to be a decent young man based on his actions so far, so I am sure the knowledge that he has killed someone through his negligence is a big punishment in itself

  7. Anonymous says:

    2 years for killing someone while another guy gets 6 for wounding. Something is not right!

    • Anonymous says:

      The 6 years for wounding was for a man who cut someones throat with the intention of murder. This was a tragic accident.

      • Anonymous says:

        It isn’t an accident when you drive drunk, and he was drunk.

      • Anonymous says:

        No, this was a case of someone making a conscious decision to drink and drive in spite of all the warnings and precautions and as a result killing an innocent women out for an early morning jog. Jus more BS of people not being held to account for their actions.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Sad that a life taken is only worth 2 years but for robbery or some ganja they want to lock you up and throw away the key if possible ….RIP to the loved one lost:(

  9. Anonymous says:

    Drinking and driving has not been stigmatized enough in Cayman. A very powerful marketing campaign to shame drink drivers is necessary. If you drink and drive (or speed) you are not cool, you are an idiot with an IQ in single figures.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Whichever way you look at it 2 years is an absolute joke. If he was over the limit then that has to be the max penalty, end of story. No tolerance for bleeding heart liberals in this kind of disgraceful situation.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Although DUI manslaughter laws vary by state, there are two versions of vehicular manslaughter that typically apply in these DUI manslaughter cases:

    Vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence: charged when a driver was driving under the influence with extremely reckless driving behavior; and
    Vehicular manslaughter with ordinary negligence: charged when a driver was DUI and violated a traffic law, but was not extremely negligent. It can also mean that a driver failed to use reasonable care to prevent injury and/or death.

    If convicted of DUI manslaughter with gross negligence, a driver faces severe penalties, which typically includes at least 10 years in prison for each person killed.

    A DUI-manslaughter-with-ordinary-negligence conviction typically brings a sentence of up to 4 years imprisonment for each person killed.

    In addition to facing long-term imprisonment, other penalties for DUI manslaughter can include heavy fines, loss of driving privileges and a felony record that can’t be expunged in most states.

  12. Anonymous says:

    The judge is of obvious superior intelligence to most of the posters here. With all due respect and sincerest condolences to the victim’s family, sentencing this man for more than two years will not bring her life back, neither will Kellyman either learn or regret more the consequences of his actions by serving a longer sentence. The stark fact is that the ONLY result of his serving a longer sentence is that he will be a burden on the community for a longer period. He will certainly NOT return to society a better person for serving ten rather than two years, and indeed the shorter term will better the chances of his post-term life making a positive contribution to our community.

    • Anonymous says:

      As always, the majority of humanity is so very and inexplicably quick to condemn another to hell. Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.

      • Anonymous says:

        I’ve never driven drunk and polished down another person’s mother/wife/sister/relative.

      • Anonymous says:

        please stop quoting scriptures only when you need it to apply. it is not about being without sin it is about a system to punishes one person hard for a simply crime and another gets a slap on the wrist. stop just because he is your freind its stupid.

        • Anonymous says:

          I will continue to quote scriptures as long as I like. You have my premission to continue to ignore them as long as you like. By the way, I don’t know this guy from a hole in the ground so please stop with your gross mis-assumptions.

      • Born Atheist born again Atheist says:

        No sin here. What type of rocks am I allowed to use?

    • Anonymous says:

      so driving drunk and killing an innocent person is only worth two years. Interesting value system.

    • SSM345 says:

      Don’t think it does much to deter those whose drink and drive regularly to refrain from doing so as the consequences for killing someone are a absolute joke.

  13. Unison says:


    When are people ever going to realize that a “strong link” exist between crimes and intoxication!

    Alcohol is not needed in your body! It is a demon that wreck up families! If you want to feel good, exercise, meditate, do yoga … there are many things you can do to cope! Falling in love with drinking, drinking, and drinking is just dumb!

    • Anon says:

      100% agree with you Unison; Cayman has a serious problem with the bottle!

      So many young men and women have died to DUI or being a passenger in the car with a drunk driver. SO many lives lost, so many families ripped apart.

  14. Anonymous says:

    I feel sad for the young man, however, he brought this on himself. If you drink don’t drive and if you drive don’t drink.

  15. Anonymous says:

    It is a disgrace how little we value human life.

  16. Anonymous says:

    2 years and he was under the influence!!! IS THAT ALL A LIFE IS WORTH IN THE CAYMAN ISLANDS????? Disgraceful and disgusting. Two years is a slap on the rest. Who gives a s..t he had a “glittering career”. Mrs Donaldson had a “glittering life and family”, Mrs Donaldson was taken from her family from a man who knew what he was doing, working late, partying hard, speeding. Great combination!!! Cayman Islands Justice System should be disgusted with themselves

    • Anonymous says:

      What else would you expect the outcome to be? After all he was given preferential treatment to go overseas on business causing the case to be adjourned. Now that’s Cayman. Who you know and who knows you.

      But there is a GOD that sits high and looks low. I trust this young man uses his time in Northward wisely. Give his life to the higher source and help others with similar addictions to pull through their weaknesses.

      Remember what your dad can do on your behalf to avoid you from serving any lengthy prison sentence, avoid having a police record that would block you from a glittering career or travels, he can’t or will not be able to do to free your conscience.

  17. jimmy says:

    wow 2 freekin years? wow. now that’s a crime itself

  18. Anonymous says:

    Disgusting – he should have been put away for much longer. If this was anywhere else, he would be serving a sentence of 10 years minimum!!! Forget his “glittering career and glowing references”. Where were these wonderful qualities when he senselessly got behind the wheel of that car and took the soul of a beautiful person. This was someone’s mother, sister, daughter and friend. HE TOOK ANOTHER PERSON’S LIFE. Mistake or NOT, he exhibited a severe lack of judgement and negligence and he should be made to pay for that.

  19. Anonymous says:

    A vehicle is a deadly weapon when not handled correctly. If you drive your car to a gathering, and choose to drink alcohol with the intention of getting back into your car to drive later then I feel that you should be charged with having willfully caused death, and sentenced accordingly-murder. If sentences were much longer, I bet people would change their behaviour. Why does no-one have the balls to increase sentencing for causing death or injury by drunk driving?

    On a related note, I believe this occurred after one of the Wet Fete parties. Hopefully, under the current leadership, the RCIPS will be waiting outside these parties in order to just scoop up every single person who stumbles out and gets behind the wheel of their car.

    • Anonymous says:

      I also hope then that the police wait outside after the Annual Police Ball to get those leaving that function that have been drinking and attempt to drive.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Cayman need to sort out a decent public transport service so that people can get home without risking drinking and driving. I know there are taxis but they are so expensive and leaving your car at a bar isn’t convenient. If there were buses that ran frequently up until 12:00am then I believe these incidents wouldn’t occur as much.

    • Anonymous says:

      25 bucks gets a Home Safe.
      Cheaper than the criminal rude taxi and your car is home when you wake up.

    • Anonymous says:

      And drinking at bars is also expensive but people do not think twice about paying the outrageous prices to get drunk!!

  21. Anonymous says:

    Remorsful or not, 2 years is not enough. Everybody knows the dangers of drinking and driving, but people still think it won’t happen to them. It really annoys me how people just don’t care and then when something happens they are “really sorry.” Well sorry isn’t good enough, you knew the risk and chose to do it anyway. Getting 2 years will not deter others, the sentence needs to be at least 5-10years. That poor innocent person and family. They have a right to justice.

  22. Anonymous says:

    Eveybody looses in this case.
    More police
    checkpoints are needed.

  23. Anonymous says:

    Understand your point but it should be a mandatory 30 years for possession of an unlicensed gun and 40 years for discharging it period!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      And on the flip side what do you suggest the mandatory sentence should be for taking someone’s life driving drunk??? Life would be reasonable.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Caught with a gun mandatory 10 years plus extra if bullets are involved. Killing a person by motor vehicle ummh…… 2 years – understood for drinking while driving but killing a human being or taking someone’s life???? Give me a break!!!

    • Robert says:

      What a damp shame 2 years for killing someone and then drunk that’s why cayman are the way it is today but if he had a gun then he would get 7 to 10 years what shame on cayman laws

    • Anonymous says:

      He deserve a 30 years….that’s a joken…

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