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Sylvia Sprinkle convicted of 2nd degree murder

Sylvia Dyson Sprinkle (2010 arrest photo)

(Updated July 3, 11:50 am)
Sprinkle convicted of 2nd degree murder

Sentenced in Iredell County Superior Court July 2
for up to 27 years and one month in prison


Sylvia Dyson Sprinkle, age 60 of Taylorsville, who was charged in the Christmas Eve 2010 vehicular death of pedestrian Robin Lynn Rockett Bowen, was convicted of four charges on Wednesday, July 2, 2014 in Iredell County Superior Court before Judge Kevin Bridges.

Sprinkle was convicted of second degree murder, felony death by vehicle, felony serious injury by vehicle, and driving while impaired, according to Joel Harbinson, attorney who was court-appointed to represent Sprinkle. The jury deliberated two and a half hours before returning the verdicts.

These charges were in relation to the incident in which pedestrian Robin Bowen died and fellow pedestrian Dawn Yount was injured that fateful December day on NC 90 East after being struck by Sprinkle’s vehicle.

Bowen and Yount were running with a group of people, some of whom had already turned onto Millersville Road from NC 90, according to Trooper G.D. Jones of the NC State Highway Patrol in a 2010 interview.

Harbinson had filed a motion for change of venue in late 2013, which was granted, moving the trial to Iredell County.

The judge instructed the jury that they could find that she had four impairing substances in her blood at the time -- alcohol, cocaine, diazepam, and nordiazepam, Harbinson said.

The attorney relayed the July 2 sentencing information to The Times, stating that, according to the law, “Second Degree Murder is an unlawful killing with malice. Malice could be inferred from her prior traffic and criminal record and any other prior unlawful conduct or use of drugs. She was sentenced to the presumptive sentence of a minimum of 238 months (19 years, 10 months) and a maximum of 295 months (24 years, seven months).

“Felony Serious Injury by Vehicle is the serious injury caused to another by driving while impaired. She received a sentence of a minimum of 25 months (two years, one month) and a maximum of 30 months (two years, six months) to run at the end of her sentence for murder. 

“The conviction of Felony Death by Vehicle was arrested since it merged with the Murder conviction. Therefore, she got no additional time for that conviction. 

“The conviction of DWI was arrested since it merged with the Felony Serious Injury by Vehicle conviction. Therefore, she got no additional time for that conviction as well,” Harbinson stated.

Earlier, Sprinkle appeared with her attorney in Alexander County Superior Court in February 2012 before Superior Court Judge Bridges. Harbinson asked to file a motion so the Court could authorize funds for Sprinkle to retain an investigator and drug expert. The attorney cited that the State had already produced similar evidence and would have expert witnesses to appear in court for the prosecution. Judge Bridges granted the motion and allowed a maximum amount of $2,500 for the time being. He indicated that if these funds were insufficient, another motion could be filed at a later date.

The number of trial days caused the case to became the longest for a non-capital criminal case in the history of Alexander and Iredell counties, Harbinson stated.

Notice of appeal was given and Sprinkle will be represented by the Appellate Defenders’ Office in her appeal. (Harbinson withdrew from the case at the end of the trial, which he indicated is the routine procedure for court-appointed attorneys.) The appellate courts could either affirm her convictions or, if error is found, send it back for a new trial. 

She was denied bond on appeal and will remain in custody during the period of appeal. 

Annual race memorializes fallen runner

Robin’s Run, a 5-kilometer footrace held in Taylorsville each year since 2011, has kept Bowen’s name in the public eye since her death. The first run, held in April 2011, drew 602 runners. Some 694 people took part in the 2013 event and about that same number in this year’s run. The event is sponsored by the Robin’s Run Foundation, Inc. Proceeds from the annual race go to fund church missions and youth athletic scholarships, in keeping with Bowen’s passion for church and athletics.

Visitor Comments
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Submitted By: Leah MathisSubmitted: 7/3/2014
Justice is finally served...Rest in Peace Robin Bowen....she will not cause any more deaths...Iredell County got it right!! Your husband said it best.."this is a tragedy that should never have happened" It took over 3 years...but finally today Alexander County residents can finally rest tonight!!

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