An upstate man who drove his Maserati into a Greenville County home on April 25 was formally charged with murder today. John G. Ludwig Jr, a 36-year-old native of Georgia, graduated from Furman University and was a successful CEO of a computer services company.
Ludwig lost control of his foreign sports car traveling several hundred feet through an open field, over an embankment before crashing into the victim’s home. Frederick William Bardsley, 62, was watching television in his living room when Ludwig drove though the back of his home killing Bardsley. The car came to rest in the front yard of the home. Solicitor Bob Ariail explained why it took so long to charge Ludwig.
“There were issues that needed to be resolved before any charges could be brought,” said Ariail. “The primary issue was who was driving this vehicle and that issue, even though Mr. Ludwig admitted from the beginning that he was driving, when it was going to come time, if we ended up in this court room in front of a judge and jury, I was going to need proof, other than his admission.”
Ariail says that, because of the evidence, they had to charge Ludwig with murder instead of reckless homicide. According to Ariail, “the elements of murder are present in this case.
“You have got a speed that is between 86 and 95 miles an hour at a minimum. You’ve got a car that is out of control or the driver has lost control before he leaves the roadway. He is on the wrong side of the road in the dark and he is obviously disregarding, totally, the safety of others.”
Ludwig has hired attorney Bill Wilkins to defend him.