Vashon Island professional skateboarder Cory Kennedy was sentenced to prison Friday for killing a friend and hurting another in a DUI crash.
The courtroom was filled with emotion as victims, victims' family members, Kennedy and his family spoke to the judge. One of the victims even asked the judge to not sentence Kennedy any time behind bars.
“Mr. Kennedy might be a talented athlete and a good person, but on Aug. 30, 2017, he was selfish and irresponsible,” said Amy Freedheim, a deputy prosecuting attorney with King County.
He was a professional skateboarder. Nike still has a promotional video up on YouTube, showing off his skills.
But that was all before the DUI crash that killed one of his friends.
“This will forever be the biggest mistake of my life,” Kennedy said to the courtroom Friday.
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Prosecutors said he had been out drinking - then was driving on Vashon Island with two friends in the car. He was speeding and lost control on a curve in the road.
The car slammed into a tree.
Internationally renowned videographer Preston Maigetter died on scene. He left behind a wife and two young boys.
“Losing Preston couldn’t have weighed heavier on my heart. He was a very close friend and a one-of-a-kind individual that I truly loved,” Kennedy said.
More than 40 people filled the court room on Friday to support Kennedy, and it was standing room only.
Maigetter's mother, Karen Maigetter, even wrote a letter asking Judge Teresa Doyle to not sentence Kennedy to any prison time. She wrote, "He (Preston) would do everything to prevent this situation where his friend would be imprisoned… he would not want that his friend suffer any more from the burdens of guilt, sorrow and stigma."
Allan Wade - the other victim in the car hurt that night - made the same request to Judge Doyle.
“He has so much to offer our community by remaining out,” Wade said.
But Maigetter's widow, Anna Cobb, spoke for the prosecution.
“Oscar and Felix (their sons). There is no way I can know how their personalities would've been shaped if Preston was still alive,” Cobb said.
She also spoke directly to Kennedy.
“One day, you’re going to have kids and you’re going to understand the depths of this. I know you didn't mean to do it and I love you,” she said.
Judge Doyle said she wasn’t going to consider zero prison time.
“It’s this concern about having a sentence that reflects seriousness of the behavior. The disastrous effect on families and the community. And this deterrence the law seeks to have reflected in this sentence,” Doyle said.
She sentenced Kennedy to four years in prison.
Prosecutors said Kennedy was looking at eight to 11 years for vehicular homicide while DUI, but Kennedy got a break because of all the people who spoke on his behalf. Prosecutors and the defense worked together to come up with a compromise sentence time of four years, which the judge agreed to.
The earliest Kennedy could be released from prison is April 2021, and that includes time off for good behavior.
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