Drunken driver who struck and killed 5-year-old boy gets 30-day sentence
A 70-year-old drunken driver in Minnesota received just a 30-day sentence for fatally striking a 5-year-old boy.
Myles Keller will begin serving his pair of 15-day jail terms on Oct. 3, the same day that Lukas Wharton should have turned 7.
"I wonder if I'll ever feel true happiness again," dad Josh Wharton said, according to the Post-Bulletin. "Lukas was a great kid. He loved his life ... I would do anything to hold my little boy again."
Lukas died last year, eight days after Keller drove his vehicle into the wagon that the child was riding on outside his Byron home, according to the newspaper.
Prosecutors said there would be "no way to prove" the felony charge of criminal vehicular homicide. Lukas' loved ones did not fight for the more serious charge because of the fear of the case taking a long time, according to the newspaper.
"Anything I can say pales in comparison to those who were impacted in this case," prosecutor Byron Black said, according to the Post-Bulletin.
Keller would take an Alford plea, admitting there was evidence against him, to avoid the more serious charges. Black had requested the maximum 90 days in jail, but Judge Kathy Wallace decided on a two separate 15-day sentences.
"Clearly, you were impaired," the judge said, according to the Post Bulletin. "You did the right thing, in that you stuck around afterward, but you were impaired."
Keller's blood alcohol content was 0.069 two hours after the tragic crash, according to the newspaper. An expert found the number would have likely been betwen 0.081 and 0.103 at the time he caused Lukas' death, according to the newspaper. The legal limit in Minnesota is 0.08.
The judge added that "I don't doubt that you're a good person, but good people do make poor choices, and there are consequences for those choices."
Josh Wharton said that Keller is only "sorry it happened to him," not sorry that a little boy died, according to the Post-Bulletin.
"This has been a very trying time for me, to say the least," Keller said in court, according to the newspaper. "I regret the circumstance that brings me here today. This is just a tragedy, a tragedy for everyone."