A drunk driver in Kentucky who killed an 11-year-old boy who was riding his bike has been sentenced to 35 years in jail after being convicted of murder, wanton endangerment, criminal mischief and driving under the influence.
Dylan Geitgey died last June after being hit by a car driven by 31-year-old Angela Baumia, herself a mother of two. He had been out for a bike ride with two friends.
Sentencing in such cases in Kentucky is at the discretion of the jury. Defence attorney Stephen Ryan had asked for the minimum sentence to be applied, reports the Courier-Journal.
Baumia, who was formally sentenced by Jefferson County Circuit Judge Brian Edwards, will be eligible for parole in 20 years’ time. Besides the 35-year sentence for murder, she was also given four years for the charge of wanton endangerment, and two years for criminal mischief.
She also had a history of alcoholism, and although she had received treatment in the past she told the court that she had returned to drinking following her mother's death, according to WAVE3.com. Baumia had previously been convicted of drunk-driving in 2004.
She confessed that she had been consuming alcohol at a party and and had been drinking beer from an open bottle as she drove her car prior to the fatal crash taking place.
Due to the fact that the sentence is in excess of 20 years, the case now heads as a matter of procedure to the Kentucky Supreme Court.
The sentence applied in Baumia's case contrasts sharply with those applicable to similar cases here, although clearly there is a distinction to be drawn in that she was charged with murder, rather than a driving-related offence.
In the UK, the offences of causing death by dangerous driving or causing death by careless driving while under the influence of drink or drugs carry a maximum penalty of 14 years’ imprisonment.
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.