EVERETT — Randy Sedy was drunk six years ago when he crashed into the back of a pickup truck in north Everett.
He had to go to court. He served two days at the fairgrounds in Monroe. He had to pay fines.
Sedy, 45, didn’t stop driving drunk. He didn’t learn his lesson. In July, the Arlington man killed Meghan Stivers.
He was drunk and behind the wheel of his 1996 Dodge Ram pickup truck. He failed to stop for police and rammed a car, injuring a Marysville man, before slamming into Stivers.
The Lake Stevens woman, a hard-working student, was on her way home from her shift at Best Western Hotel on the Tulalip Indian Reservation and pulled into a parking lot when she saw the chase. She died at the scene.
A Snohomish County judge on Thursday sentenced Sedy to six years in prison — a few months shy of the maximum under state sentencing guidelines. The sentence incorporated an extra two years because of Sedy’s 2005 drunken driving conviction.
The defendant may not have set out to intentionally harm anyone, but he made the choice to drink and drive, Superior Court Judge David Kurtz said.
“On July 29, Mr. Sedy left a terrible path of destruction in his wake, including the death of a totally innocent victim who even pulled off the roadway,” Kurtz said.
Stivers, 26, was working her way through Everett Community College, determined to improve her math skills and become an accountant. She was full of adventure and warmth and humor.
“Meghan had a light about her,” her older sister Kendra Wilmott said.
She could find the good in anyone and any situation.
“Because of the choice of one man, I will never see my sister again,” Wilmott said.
The judge on Thursday carefully explained that the law limited how much prison time he could impose. While some may believe the sentence for a vehicular homicide conviction is inadequate, it is up to lawmakers, not the courts, to change the rules, Kurtz said.
The standard sentencing range for vehicular homicide in Washington state is 2-1/2 to 3-1/2 years for people without significant criminal history.
“I question daily why someone who kills my daughter, Meghan, can get less time in jail than someone who has a two-year crime spree against people and property but does not kill anyone,” Jan Stivers said Thursday.
She plans to work with lawmakers in Olympia who are proposing a law to increase penalties for people convicted of vehicular homicide.
“That’s what I can do for Meghan,” she said after the court hearing.
Her daughter’s death wasn’t an accident — it was preventable, Jan Stivers said. There needs to be tougher penalties to help deter people from drinking and driving, she said.
Sedy is a repeat offender, who didn’t learn from his previous mistakes, Wilmott said. Her sister’s killer should be locked up as long as possible, sending a message to others who chose to drink and drive, she said.
Sedy apologized on Thursday. He said he isn’t a monster.
“I know my actions are wrong,” he said.
Kurtz gave Sedy credit for quickly pleading guilty to the charges, sparing the victims a trial. He also noted that Sedy didn’t have any prior felony convictions. While those were positives in Sedy’s favor, they didn’t outweigh some of the more egregious facts of the case, including the defendant’s involvement in multiple crashes that night, his high-level of intoxication and the tragic death of an innocent woman, the judge said.
Sedy’s blood alcohol level, .31, was nearly four times the legal limit. He admitted to drinking beer and a fifth of vodka earlier in the night. Before hitting Stivers, he crashed into other cars, seriously injuring Glen Pehling, who was on his way home from work.
Pehling told the judge on Thursday that he was afraid he was going to die when Sedy repeatedly rammed his car before driving off.
“I wish everyday my car would have stopped you and prevented you from going further…,” Pehling told Sedy.
Diana Hefley: 425-339-3463; firstname.lastname@example.org.