CLEVELAND – A 21-year-old man was sentenced to 25 years in prison for his role in the July 2016 fatal crash that claimed the lives of three Euclid teenagers, and injured two others.
Kareem Walton apologized to family members of the victims before and after the sentencing.
“I already got my time so what I am saying is from my heart,” Walton said, as he turned to face the family members during his sentencing hearing Friday in Judge Maureen Clancy’s Cuyahoga County courtroom. “I apologize for the pain you all feel; I apologize for my actions.”
Walton pleaded guilty earlier this week to several charges, including three counts of aggravated vehicular homicide.
Alexandria Winegarner, Takia Jackson, and Daija Wynne, all 17, died in the crash. Two other teen girls were seriously injured.
Cleveland Patrol Officer Justin Cajka told the judge it was probably one of the worst crashes he has ever seen. He offered condolences to the family members, who hugged him, and the other officers after the hearing.
Prosecutor Blaise Thomas stressed to the judge that the crash was not an accident. He said Walton was speeding and had alcohol in his system.
Police say Walton was driving around 80 miles per hour on Kirby Avenue in Cleveland when he crashed into a tree.
Family members say the defendant’s apology and the long prison sentence doesn’t help lessen the pain.
“It’s really not going to matter,” said Michelle Johnson, mother of Alexandria Winegarner. “That picture is all I have; that’s it.”