by: Natasha Chen Updated:
KENT, Wash. - A man was sentenced Friday in King County Superior Court for vehicular homicide, after he crashed a car in December, killing a 5-year-old boy in the passenger seat.
Twenty-two-year-old Tony Goodnow was sentenced to 102 months in prison, the lower end of a sentence range that could have been as long as 126 months.
On Dec. 29, Goodnow led police on a high-speed chase through Auburn. A later toxicology test showed his blood alcohol level was 0.16, twice the legal limit.
He crashed his car into a tree, killing his girlfriend’s son, Stacey-Izaac Holmes, who was not wearing a seat belt in the front passenger seat. His girlfriend’s 9-year-old daughter was injured in the back seat.
Holmes’ father’s family packed a Kent courtroom Friday, with some family members speaking one at a time about the grief they’ve been through.
“He was 5 1/2, looking forward to the rest of his life,” said Tracey Holmes, his grandfather.
Tracey Holmes Jr., Stacey-Izaac’s father, held onto a teddy bear containing a small urn with his son’s ashes.
In court, Goodnow read a letter to Holmes Jr:
“I know you may want some answers about that night, but my memory is bleak. All I remember is how quickly I got attached to your son, and how much I loved him as a father,” Goodnow said. “I can’t stress how sorry I am, and how much I love him. I miss him, and will continue to miss him every day of my life. And if it were my way, it would have been me who passed on that night.”
Later, KIRO 7 asked Tracey Holmes Jr. what he thought of that statement.
“It sounded heartfelt. But another side of me is thinking maybe it was just to sweeten the judge,” he said.
The tension between the Goodnows and the Holmes was so high, extra security had to stand between them.
The situation worsened when Goodnow’s mother defended him.
“It’s not all his fault. He doesn’t even remember getting in the car. Ikesha [Holmes’ mother] had to start the car, and tell him 'OK, you can drive now,'” she said.
The Holmes family then found out Holmes’ mother recently married Tony Goodnow.
“I think it’s a shame, that she would turn around and marry the guy who killed her son,” Holmes Jr. said.
He said he will try to heal for the sake of his other children.