In a story that has received national attention, a repeat DWI offender was sentenced to 50 years in prison for causing an accident that killed a 2-year-old child.
The victim’s mother was upset after the sentencing was read, noting that her life has changed for the worse since the accident. She said the following in her victim impact statement:
“I’m so afraid to have more children because there are so many people like you out there and I don’t know who is going to stop you. My family has to live with this pain forever. My family got the death sentence, and you got life.”
According to lab results from the medical examiner’s office, the man had a blood alcohol level of 0.25 at the time of the accident, which is roughly three times the legal limit.
The man decided to plead guilty to all charges earlier this year, while also opting for the judge to assess his punishment.
The judge decided on 50 years in prison in relation to three counts of aggravated assault causing serious bodily injury and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. Furthermore, he was sentenced to another 20 years for a felony DWI charge.
The 51-year-old man will not be eligible for a parole hearing until 2040, at which point he would have served a minimum of half his sentence.
Any mother who lost a young child in such an accident would likely react the same way. In this case, it was the poor decision of one driver that led to the death of a child.
Source: Star-Telegram, “‘My family got the death sentence,’ mother tells repeat DWI offender,” Mitch Mitchell, July 29, 2015