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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.

Comment on this Story

  • guy

    its not murder when a drunkdriver has caused a car accident an someone dies its a tragedy but not a murder any one in that postion wishes they would have died trust me i know felony murder rule was invented to boost conviction rates an please families of the deceased which in many cases is why a conviction is made the family makes it happen i think unless their sworn in as a judge there say so should not influence the court in any way for example two men are related an one dies in a drinking an driving ACCIDENT the family members suggest that their penalty not be conviction does their decision make any difference in the safety of the community when the drunk driver was not convicted? think about it

  • dkberkley

    dkberkley i am sorry for her family taken so young.this man is a danger to the public and should not be out on the street where he can hurt or kill.he should be locked up!

  • First of all guy your statment makes absolutely no sense. Murder and death by DWI are two different things. Secondly what makes you an expert on this? Thirdly I worked in the court system for over 21 years.
    If someone picks up a gun and shoots someone is that not murde? So if a man decides to get in a vehicle while drunk and kills someone, how is that not murder by motor vehicle? He made a decision to drive impaired. Stephanie didn’t ask to be killed. I think you need to go back to law school and then come back and give another explaination that makes sense. The wording of your statment doesn’t even make sense. Why would they have these laws if it wasn’t considered a crime?
    You know that the felony murder rule (law) was invented (made a law) to boost convictions rates and please families of the deceased which in many cases is why a conviction is made the family makes it happen i think unless their sworn in as a judge there say so should not influence the court in any way? How do you know that? You comment is just one long run on sentence that makes no sense. How many times have you been convicted of DWI? Go back inside the bar and leave your phone in the car. You obviously are not very education or are under the influence yourself while you are writing this. What if it was your daughter that was killed? Would that make a difference to you? I think it would make a huge difference.

  • Commonsensenotcommontoday

    There is no way in the world that the Heath KILLING should take a year to bring to trial. This man should have been in Raleigh Central for the last six months.

  • Guest245

    where’s the new crime fighting da with his staff of 17 underworked and overpaid district attorneys? oh, he’s in a meeting with law enforcement….i forgot! justice from pender to brunswick in one family……there ya go!

  • 51baby

    When are the authorities going to wake up and put him behind bars? This is by far not the first offense and won’t be the last. He is a drug addict and refuses to get clean. I have known him for 15 years and he has done nothing but dig a bigger hole for himself, now at the expense of a very beautiful, intelligent youg lady. It is going downhill from here.

  • Kim Heath

    Our beloved daughter, Stephanie Heath was killed just 6 weeks after her 23rd birthday. She was a Dean’s List Student at Brunswick Community College. Stephanie was killed on May 27, 2010 at the Lockwood River bridge on Highway 211 in Supply. The man charged in her death, Richard Constantineau, faces charges of Felony Death by Vehicle, DWI and Driving left of center in Brunswick County.

    A beautiful 23 year old girl was taken way too soon, leaving grieving parents, sisters and many other family and friends;
    nothing will bring Stephanie Faye back, but she deserves justice.

    We have said many times that our biggest fear is that another family will have this unendurable pain and grief. We believe that all of the other people in Brunswick, New Hanover and Pender Counties deserve safety and protection from another tragedy such as the one
    our family is trying to get through now.

    Constantineau received a Uniform Citation from a State Trooper on May 14, 2011 for driving his moped in “a manner so as to endanger persons or property”. (Public Record, Pender County) So, Thank God, no one was injured or killed on the evening of March 14, 2011. Constantineau has a pattern of behavior, as many as 16 accidents in the past 12 years.

    I pray for the safety of everyone, and for justice for our girl Stephanie.

  • Guest2222

    I know that nothing will bring you beautiful child back and my heart is with you. I hope you get the justice you seek and certainly that this creep is jailed for his horrible dangerous choices!

  • Guest461

    and can’t imagine the pain you feel. I hope you are at least able to see an appropriate set of convictions for Constantineau, both for your satisfaction and your concern for the safety of the general public.

    I think though that this guy could easily have a really, really bad accident on that moped. Someone may need to follow him and check on him…

  • Guest422

    LOCK HIS ASS UP!!!! To many times law enforcment slapped these guys on the wrist and expect them to learn… He killed a close friend to me last year…and I wish they would get him off the streets before someone else gets hurt

  • T-Mass

    The State really needs to do something about people driving these scooters on our roads, they cant go with the flow of traffic and 90% of people that drive these scooters have DUI’s. Dont let them drive ANYTHING!!!! They get a DUI, too bad, dont drive anymore, very simple.

  • GuestLee

    I don’t understand how this man can intentionally take another life and walk away with a fine. He obviously hasn’t learned anything because he continues to get into trouble even after he murdered someone. Where is justice for his victim’s family? How can the courts just let him walk free? The court system is a mockery! It could be your son, daughter, brother, sister, mother, father that is next on his list. Something needs to be done to make sure this man is never allowed on the streets again!

  • GuestReader

    Read the article. His previous charges are still pending. He hasn’t walked away with anything yet, just added to his troubles.

  • guesty

    All mopeds should either be forced to be insured and have license plates or they should be outlawed. If this drunk runs into me I’ll be left holding the bag. I’ll then have to use MY uninsured coverage to repair the damages. I could sue him in civil court but what good will that do when somebody doesn’t have anything of value.

  • Guest461

    They are the ones with the final say so and hold the crystal ball. This happens all to regularly. Just go and sit in court and watch the antics between the defense attorneys and the District attorneys. Plea deal after plea deal. 75% of the cases are pled down amd cleared before court even comes into session. This happens EVERY DAY in EVERY COUNTY courthouse. Then, check out the state and federal courtrooms. It’s what movies are made of.

    There is no other need to ask why people like this are back on the street, he’s only one of the very few, and in comparison his convictions are relativly minor.

    If I had know it was so easy and profitable to be a criminal, I maybe would have changed my ways a few years back. Nahhh, I’ve enjoyed my sleep too much.

  • granny 45

    I Can’t Believe this man was charged again !! he took a beautiful young girl life !! And needs to pay for the decision that he made made to drive that day being intoxicated !! Stephanie needs justice !!


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