Tuesday, March 4, 2003

Shock probation requested in auto death case

By Patrick Crowley
The Cincinnati Enquirer

COVINGTON - Brandon Brumett - his hands cuffed, his legs shackled - made a clanging noise as he slowly shuffled across Kenton Circuit Judge Patricia Summe's courtroom Monday morning.

Brumett, 23took the witness stand and professed remorse for the auto accident that took the life of his best friend, injured three members of one family and cost him his freedom.

"There isn't a day that goes by that I don't think about what I did, and how sorry I am that it happened," Brumett said as he spoke about the July 28, 2000, accident that killed his best friend, Danny Emmitt, and injured Dolores Hunley of Taylor Mill and her two children.

In January of 2001, Summe sentenced Brumett to 10 years in prison. Under an agreement with the Kenton County Commonwealth Attorney's Office, Brumett pleaded guilty to second-degree manslaughter and three counts of second-degree assault.

Brumett was driving his 1996 Ford Mustang eastbound on Interstate 275 on the evening of July 28, 2000, when he lost control of the car, crossed the median and slammed into an Oldsmobile driven by Hunley. Emmitt, a passenger in Brumett's car, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Brumett was in court Monday seeking "shock" probation, a type of early parole granted by judges who believe defendants who have been incarcerated are "shocked" by prison and will not return to a life of crime.

"These past 14 months have scared me to death," Brumett said to Summe. "If you can bless me with (shock probation) ... you will never see me in the court system again."

Florence attorney Burr Travis, one of Brumett's lawyers, said Brumett's record in jail and prison is "spotless". If released Brumett will agree to a year of home incarceration and will pay $200 a week to the Hunleys to help cover medical bills and other expenses the family incurred as a result of the accident, Travis said.

But Assistant Commonwealth Attorney Amy Burke said Hunley does not believe Brumett should be released from prison. Doing so "unduly depreciates the seriousness" of Brumett's crime, Burke said.

E-mail pcrowley@enquirer.com

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