Sunday, December 02, 2001

Drunk driver gets 6 months for death




The Associated Press

        LEXINGTON, Ky. — Patrick Thurston can't remember what happened after he and his buddies left Keeneland on that April day, but the legacy of it haunts him. Mr. Thurston killed his good friend, injured two others, and snapped his own neck in a drunken-driving crash.

        “I can't go back and change it,” a sobbing Mr. Thurston told Fayette Circuit Judge Gary Payne on Friday. “I can't say anything. I wake up every day, every moment of my life, thinking about what happened.

        “I took someone's life, and I have to face the consequences,” he said.

        The 20-year-old University of Kentucky student was behind the wheel of a new Volkswagen Jetta on April 27 when he slammed into a tree, killing 19-year-old Jared Michael Garner. Two passengers, Mr. Thurston's girlfriend, Leigh-Ann Mims, and Taylor Papania, both 17, were injured. He was charged with reckless homicide, wanton endangerment and drunken driving.

        Judge Payne ordered Mr. Thurston to serve six months in jail and five years of probation, give up his driver's license for three years, and speak to high school students about the perils of drinking and driving.

        Mr. Garner's relatives asked the judge to be gentle.

        “I feel I have to look at it as if "What if it were my son,'” his mother, Deborah Garner, wrote in a letter. “I know that I would not want my son to go to prison, and I would want my son shown mercy.”

       



The bands are back
Music program withers at CPS
Four examples of kids and music coming together
Luken takes charge
Lynch's CAN seat in danger
Council faces tough pursuits
Readers make holiday wishes come true
Wehrung trial is talk of village
Firefighters working on race issues
School blends old, new design
Tips aid Latinos' move
Traditions comforting
Tristate A.M. Report
Wider I-75 in the works
BRONSON: Criminal justice
CROWLEY: Kentucky Politics
HOWARD: Some Good News
PULFER: A bad binge
Township begins process for police hires
GOP fails to reach budget compromise
Ohio weighs tax change on leases
State defends process for anti-smoking push
500 haven't cashed their rebate checks
Bridges get a space-age fix
- Drunk driver gets 6 months for death
Killer faces new perjury charges
Medicaid must pay druggists top U.S. fee
New try for telemarketing limits
Railroad sparked growth