Attorney Allen Trapp confirmed Sunday afternoon that his client Jack Hughes has been found dead.
Hughes, 20, faced charges concerning the death in a two-vehicle collision of Army Medic Jerome Curtis Owens in 2011.
Trapp said he talked to Hughes' father and said that Hughes apparently took his own life.
According to Marion County Deputy Coroner Travis Welch, the case is still under investigation by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.
Never miss a local story.
The body was found on the side of Marvin Moore Road in Buena Vista, Ga..
Welch said he got the call at 12:05 a.m. and officially pronounced Hughes dead at 12:24 a.m.
A Columbus jury was to hear evidence that Hughes, then a teen, allegedly was on drugs when he ran a Macon Road red light June 27, 2011, and T-boned the soldier’s car at Elm Drive.
"I feel empty. I know he was despondent but this case was far from over," Trapp said.
Talking about the deaths of two men and the effect on their families, Trapp said, "There are no winners in this case."
In March, the Georgia Supreme Court upheld a Georgia Court of Appeals decision that overturned a ruling by Superior Court Judge Gil McBride. McBride ruled in February 2013 that Columbus police had no probable cause to drug-test and charge Hughes with driving under the influence after his eastbound Ford F-150 pickup truck smashed into Owens’ Nissan Altima at 5:19 a.m.
After the initial impact, Hughes’ truck hit a utility pole, and the driver’s air bag deployed. He told police he must have dozed off. He did not know he had hit Owens’ car, nor remember what color his traffic light was, police said.
Officers could see Hughes was slow to answer questions and seemed unsteady on his feet, and his eyes were red. But they did not try to determine whether he was under the influence of drugs or alcohol until they arrested him for misdemeanor homicide by vehicle, based on his having run a red light.
While searching him, they found pills in his pockets. Suspecting he was under the influence of drugs, they persuaded Hughes to submit to a blood test, which showed the presence of drugs and alcohol in his system. He subsequently was charged with five separate counts of felony homicide by vehicle.