Myles Keller, 70, of Mantorville, Minnesota will serve two 15-day stints in jail – one starting on October 3 and the other beginning on May 24
The drunk driver behind the wheel of a car that struck and killed 5-year-old Lukas Wharton last year was sentenced to 30 days in jail, it was reported on Wednesday.
Myles Keller, 70, of Mantorville, Minnesota will serve two 15-day stints in jail – one starting on October 3 and the other beginning on May 24.
The first date is Lukas Wharton’s birthday. He would have been seven years old had he lived.
The second date is the anniversary of the accident that killed the young boy, according to the Post Bulletin.
On May 24 of last year, Lukas was playing with his siblings on an embankment. He rode down the embankment in a child’s wagon.
That’s when a car driven by Keller not far from the child’s home struck Lukas and the wagon.
A relative quickly came to Lukas’s aid and brought him back to the family home.
Keller went with them into the home and dialled 911.
Keller was the drunk driver behind the wheel of a car that struck and killed 5-year-old Lukas Wharton (above) last year was sentenced to 30 days in jail
Lukas was hospitalized for eight days before succumbing to his injuries.
Prosecutors said they had ‘no way to prove’ Keller’s guilt of the more serious charge of criminal vehicular homicide because the law requires that the government prove beyond a reasonable doubt that his driving conduct was a substantial factor in Lukas’s death.
Instead, prosecutors charged Keller with one count of reckless driving, a misdemeanour, and two misdemeanour counts of fourth-degree DWI.
Keller and prosecutors struck a plea deal whereby he agreed to plead guilty to one of the DWI charges.
The other charges were dismissed.
The head prosecutor in the case, Olmsted County Attorney Mark Ostrem, said that Keller knew he was over the legal alcohol limit that day.
Keller’s ‘driving conduct was very purposeful and deliberate in sneaking his way home,’ Ostrem said.
‘We believe he did that because he knew he was over the (alcohol) limit and was trying to avoid detection.’
Lukas’s father told the judge that his son was ‘a beautiful, caring boy whose death has left a hole in our family.’ He said that the family did not push for manslaughter charges against Keller in order to spare it from a long, drawn-out legal process
According to the Star Tribune, Keller’s blood alcohol content an hour after the crash was between 0.081 and 0.101 percent.
The legal limit for driving in Minnesota is 0.08 percent.
Prosecutors asked the judge to impose the maximum sentence, which was 90 days in jail and a $1,000 fine.
Lukas’s father told the judge that his son was ‘a beautiful, caring boy whose death has left a hole in our family.’
He said that the family did not push for manslaughter charges against Keller in order to spare it from a long, drawn-out legal process.
But Wharton was angered when Keller sought a dismissal of all charge, ‘which speaks to his character.’
‘He’s sorry it happened to him,’ not that he killed his five-year-old son.
‘I wonder if I’ll ever feel true happiness again,’ Wharton said.
‘Lukas was a great kid. He loved his life … I would do anything to hold my little boy again.’
The judge in the case, Kathy Wallace, told Keller during sentencing on Friday that he erred in drinking alcohol just before getting behind the wheel.
‘Clearly, you were impaired,’ she said.
‘You did the right thing, in that you stuck around afterward, but you were impaired.’
‘Some jail time is appropriate,’ Wallace told him. “This DUI is more egregious than the standard DUI that comes before this court every day.
‘There is no right answer, so I’m going to do the best that I can.’