Man indicted on 10 counts of homicide for deadly Chatham boat crash that killed 5

This is a developing story and has been updated to include the grand jury indictment and other details.

On Wednesday, a Chatham County grand jury indicted Mark Christopher Stegall, 45, with 10 counts of first-degree homicide by vessel for the Memorial Day weekend boat collision that killed five people on the Wilmington River.

Credit: Chatham County Sheriff's Office/Detention Center

Credit: Chatham County Sheriff's Office/Detention Center

Stegall has also been indicted with six counts of serious injury by vessel, boating under the influence, and reckless operation.

A joint investigation by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources and the Chatham County District Attorney concluded that Stegall was operating the boat recklessly by driving on the wrong side of the channel/river while under the influence of alcohol.

Mark Stegall's Indictment by on Scribd

The six-page indictment lists the charges against Stegall, but does not provide details or findings of the ongoing investigation.

“There will be a narrative in the final investigative report, but we won’t be able to release it until the case is adjudicated,” Georgia DNR spokesperson Mark McKinnon said.

The indictment does clarify why Stegall received twice the number of charges for each count. He was charged for violating two laws: the reckless operation of a vessel and operating a vessel under the influence. Those laws were applied when the indictment was issued.

Meaning, he was charged for first degree homicide by vessel for each person who was killed because he violated the two aforementioned laws. The same action was applied to his subsequent charge of serious injury by vessel.

The same charges were also listed as separate violations on the indictment.

Four members of the Leffler family — Chris, 51, his wife Lori, 50, and their sons Zach, 23, and Nate, 17 — died in the May 28 accident. Robert "Stephen" Chauncey, 37, a passenger in Stegall's boat, also died. Four other people were injured.

At the time of the accident, Stegall was booked into the Chatham County Jail on one charge, operation of watercraft under the influence of alcohol, drugs or toxic vapor. Yet, a three-page County Marine Patrol incident report of the boat collision does not say how much alcohol was in Stegall's system at the time of the fatal wreck.

Drew Favakeh is the public safety reporter for Savannah Morning News. You can reach him at

This article originally appeared on Savannah Morning News: Mark Stegall indicted on 10 counts of homicide for deadly Memorial weekend boat crash that killed 5