Defendant apologizes before sentenced for vehicular homicide

by: Deborah Horne Updated:

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Phillip Drum made no secret of his antipathy toward the Renton man who struck and killed his sister, 56-year-old Rosemary Tempel  -- striking at the core of her tight-knit, loving family, Drum said, an act so evil, it cried out for justice.

"I hope that I have motivated you to perform justice and set this societal menace who took my sister's precious life to the maximum sentence possible."

The man who was object of his ire cried throughout the hourlong hearing.  Timothy Durden was convicted of hitting and killing Tempel and hurting another woman in a drug-fueled crash in Seattle's Interbay neighborhood in July of 2012.  And he apologized profusely.

"How can I forgive myself?" Durden asked, holding his head in his hands.  "How can I forgive? There is no reason.  I see her every day.   I walked up to her car.  I ran up to it every day."

But Durden has a long criminal history, mostly because of his actions behind the wheel. He has been sentenced three times for reckless driving, five times for driving with his license suspended, hit-and-run and assault.  So the judge said he deserved no more mercy.

"This defendant has had many, many courtroom sentences," said King County Superior Court Judge Monica Benton.  "In many ways, this was foreseeable."

With that, she sent Durden to prison for 54 months and ordered him handcuffed immediately.

Durden asked to hug his wife and daughter before he went off to prison.

But the judge wouldn't allow it.