BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC / PENDER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) -- A man charged with killing a young woman while driving while impaired was fined again for reckless driving to endanger.
Richard Constantineau was charged with felony death by vehicle, driving while impaired and driving left of center in May of last year less than two months before his alleged victim's 23rd birthday.
Stephanie Heath's 24th birthday is Monday, and Constantineau is still running into trouble on the road.
"Those are very serious charges, and these cases take time to ensure the investigation is thoroughly done on both sides to ensure that justice is actually served in this case because the victim in this case deserves justice," Brunswick County ADA Gina Essey said. Essey said generally the more serious the charge, the longer it takes.
But Barb Lynch of Justice in Motion said the time is the issue.
"That's where the problem lies, and in the meantime, drivers who are charged are out on the streets and in many instances, they are picking up another DWI, or they're drinking, and they're endangering everybody," Lynch said.
Constantineau was stopped by a NC State Trooper in Pender County on March 14 for running off the road and into a ditch on his moped.
The ticket states he was driving in a "manner so as to endanger persons and or property,” and says he was not carrying a license at the time. North Carolina law allows driving a moped 50 CCs and less without a license, but many wonder why this man is on the road at all.
Essey said sometimes justice takes longer than the family and public would like, but there is a lot to consider.
"Speed and time does not determine justice," she said. "Making sure that both sides are thoroughly informed, every avenue of investigation has been thoroughly covered, we have taken the time to review the case, review all possibilities, consequences.”
Constantineau has a case management appointment for the felony death charge in April and a court date for the moped incident in May.