Driver charged months after wreck that killed girlfriend

In April, authorities found the bodies of Paul Barnes and Jerry Nikkole Acklin ejected from a Jeep Wrangler on Highway 92.

Both were taken to local hospitals, but Acklin, 22, died a week later, the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release.

Now, roughly four months later, Barnes, 26, faces vehicular homicide and DUI charges in the crash that killed his girlfriend.

On April 13, just after 11:50 p.m., authorities were called to the intersection of Wade Green Road and Ga. 92 where they found the ejected couple. Their jeep was overturned.

At the time, charges were not filed pending the outcome of the toxicology reports from the GBI Crime Lab, Cherokee County sheriff’s Sgt. Marianne Kelley told

Barnes also faces charges of reckless driving, failure to maintain lane, seat belt violation and possession of controlled substance. He is out of the Cherokee County jail on a $16,906 bond.

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