LAS VEGAS, Nev. (702 Times, NV Globe) – The town of Anchorage, Alaska, was horrified by the horrifying collision. Teenagers Brooke McPheters and Jordyn Durr were killed by a drunk motorist about 10 years ago.
The two companions, both 15, were killed by an accused drunk motorist who struck and killed them as they were strolling on a sidewalk after returning from the mall where they had gone back-to-school shopping.
Last Monday, an Alaskan court resentenced Stacey Graham, a previous drunk driver, to a total of 30 years in jail for the 2013 collision.
The punishment was discussed with FOX5 by McPheters’ parents, who are currently residing in Logandale, Nevada, close to Mesquite.
“We are kind of frustrated with the whole criminal system in general. We feel like it’s more geared towards the defense rather than the victim and the victim’s families,” said Brooke’s mother, Shanna McPheters.
Due in large part to Graham’s decision to appeal a 32-year sentence that was part of a plea agreement but which he disagreed with, the case has taken so long to resolve.
Graham said the judge violated his right to due process by permitting, among other things, an emotional video tribute to the two girls at his original sentence, according to KTUU in Anchorage. He said that a police officer’s testimony on the anguish he endured at the site was permitted.
Graham submitted an appeal for a new sentence, and the Alaska Supreme Court.
According to KTUU, Graham’s public defender claimed that although though Graham has been behind bars since 2013, he has kept his vow to fight drunk driving, and that decreasing his sentence to 26 years to serve will still have a significant deterrent effect.
The parents of McPheters express their desire for Southern Nevadans to draw lessons from their daughter’s passing.
“Don’t drink and drive. We don’t want anybody else to be affected. I mean, we’re going on almost 10 years,” said Shanna McPheters.
“Judge Saxby went over how the technology has changed since he was a kid. He talked about seatbelts. He talked about everything, your mirrors. But ultimately it still comes down to the person behind the wheel. We can do everything we can, so a vehicle won’t move if you’re intoxicated. It’s going to come down to us as individuals to make that decision to stop doing this,” said Brooke’s father, Gary McPheters.
The McPheters founded Brooke’s Good Deeds, which includes a food pantry they manage in Logandale that provides on-site mental health counseling, as a way to remember Brooke and assist others in need.
In Alaska, Jordyn Durr’s mother told FOX5 that she was content with the judge’s choice of punishment.
Credits: FOX 5 VEGAS
Copyright 2023 702 Times, NV Globe. All rights reserved.
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