Drunk Driver, 70, Sentenced to Just 30 Days in Jail After Fatally Striking 5-Year-Old
A 70-year-old drunk driver who fatally struck a little boy in Minnesota last year will serve just 30 days in jail.
By taking an Alford plea, Myles Keller pleaded guilty to DWI but asserted his innocence.
Keller was originally charged with reckless driving-conscious disregard of a substantial risk and two misdemeanor counts of fourth-degree DWI.
Olmsted County Attorney Mark Ostrem explained that there was no way to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Keller's driving was a substantial factor in the May 2016 death of Lukas Wharton.
As such, Keller never faced a felony vehicular homicide charge, which could have put him behind bars for what's left of his life.
But he won't feel the full force of the law for the conviction he got, either.
According to the Post-Bulletin, Prosecutor Byron Black requested the maximum sentence of 90 days in jail and a $1,000 fine.
Keller, instead, was sentenced to two 15-day jail terms.
"You did the right thing, in that you stuck around afterward, but you were impaired," the judge told Keller. "I don't doubt that you're a good person, but good people do make poor choices, and there are consequences for those choices."
Keller's blood alcohol content was not tested until two hours after the crash, when he recorded a 0.069 BAC. The legal limit in Minnesota is 0.08.
Lukas' family told the judge they chose not to urge prosecutors to pursue more serious charges to spare them the trauma of a drawn-out trial.
However, the boy's father believes Keller's initial motion to have the charges dismissed speaks poorly of his character and that "he's sorry it happened to him" but not that the boy was killed.
Keller will serve his terms in October and in May.