by: Kevin McCarty Updated:
BONNEY LAKE, Wash. - A man who had already served nearly a decade in a vehicular homicide case was sentenced to 27 years in a similar crime that claimed the life of a Bonney Lake man in August 2012.
Gary Slick, 47, was killed when he was hit as he walked along 214th Street toward State Route 410. Police arrested James Southard Jr., 51, after determining he was under the influence of drugs when his pickup truck struck and killed Slick.
Southard was also convicted of vehicular homicide while driving under the influence of alcohol in November 1999. That crash claimed the life of Shawn Fairbanks.
At his sentencing on Friday, Slick's widow Jurene Slick said she was concerned Southard could eventually get out of prison and behind the wheel again.
"He still has the possibility of getting out and being alive", said Slick. "And can still have the possibility of driving a vehicle again."
"I don't think it was long enough", said Slick's daughter Erika Miller. "I don't think he should have a chance. He's taken two lives and he still has a chance to have a life."
Southard sat with his head down weeping through much of the sentencing hearing. Jurene Slick said he appeared to be a broken man. But Judge Frank Cuthbertson lectured Southard reminding him that when he was arrested, he made excuses to police.
"Your view was this isn't fair. You did everything you could and it wasn't your fault," Cuthbertson told Southard.