Man who admitted driving drunk sentenced to 15 yrs. for an athle - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Man who admitted driving drunk sentenced to 15 yrs. for an athlete's death

Kenneth Yates Kenneth Yates
John Carr (3rd from left) (Source: Jerry Carr) John Carr (3rd from left) (Source: Jerry Carr)

By Marisela Burgos - bio | email

LOUISVILLE, KY - The man who admitted to driving drunk and hitting and killing a tri-athlete last year, learned his fate Wednesday morning.

During an emotional sentencing hearing, 27-year-old Kenneth Yates was sentenced to 15 years. He will be eligible for parole in 11 years. Yates pleaded guilty to first degree manslaughter, earlier this month. He also pleaded guilty to resisting arrest, failure to stop and render aide, among other charges.

In August 2009, as 47-year-old John Carr competed in the E.P. Tom Sawyer Triathlon, Louisville Metro Police say, Yates hit him from behind on Chamberlain Lane. Officers found Yates car about a half mile down with a cracked windshield and Carr's bike.

Yates mother, Kimberly Strong, spoke on his behalf Wednesday. "I wanted to let the Carr family know that we're deeply sorry for their loss," she said. "As for John Carr's father, I'd like to say to him, I know his loss is great and if I could take some of the pain from any of them -I would," she continued.

Meanwhile, Carr's father, Jerry, shared his loss in court. "It's kinda hard to put our losses into words, but we'll always keep 'em in our hearts. John loved life and everybody that knew John -felt a little bit better knowing John," he said.

While Judge Fred Cowan said he believes Yates is remorseful, he wanted him to know how this has affected the Carr family. He shared words from Carr's wife, Sunni. "It is difficult to capture 13 years of time shared with a loved one in writing. I feel I have lost my identity with John gone. We were best friends, husband and wife and parents to four wonderful children," Sunni Carr wrote.

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