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Archive for Tuesday, April 13, 2004

Judge gives tough sentence for fatal wreck

April 13, 2004

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A judge granted a grieving family's plea for a tough sentence this morning by ordering a driver to serve a year in jail for causing a deadly head-on wreck in December 2002.

Family members of Tisha Downing, a Eudora High School employee who died in the wreck Dec. 4, 2002 on U.S. Highway 40, were frustrated earlier this year when Judge Robert Fairchild acquitted 20-year-old driver Charley R. Davis of manslaughter and found him guilty of the lesser charge of vehicular homicide.

But Downing's survivors left the courtroom smiling and hugging each other today after Fairchild gave Davis the maximum possible sentence.

Davis' attorney, Patrick Nichols, had asked for his client to be put on probation.

The wreck happened as Davis was passing cars uphill in a no-passing zone west of Lawrence. Tisha Downing's five-week-old daughter, Francesca, was in the vehicle but survived with minor injuries.

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