Sentence For Deadly Hit And Run

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WILKES-BARRE -- A man was sentenced in Luzerne County court after pleading guilty to hitting and killing two people with his car last year.

The sentence could keep him in jail for more than 20 years.

Walter Raven of Jenkins Township will spend six and a half to 25 years in jail for a hit and run last year that killed two people.

One of the people who died worked at the Luzerne County courthouse. Her coworkers said that there was a general sense of relief after Raven was sentenced.

It was the last opportunity Raven would be given to apologize to two families but he kept quiet when led out of the Luzerne County courthouse.

A judge sentenced him to six and a half to 25 years in prison for the hit and run that killed Donnie Pizano and Robin Walsh, both of Plains.

Police say the two were on a motorcycle last September when Raven hit them with his car on Route 315 near Pittston.

Assistant District Attorney Mamie Phillips says Walter Raven deserved the harsh sentence.

"He wasn't supposed to be driving. He didn't even have a driver's license. He wasn't a licensed driver, so that really - the judge emphasized that - that yes, this was a tragic accident, but he should not have been on the road."

Raven initially denied being involved in the hit and run, but the investigation revealed that Raven and a friend had power-washed the car shortly after the crash.

Last month, Raven pleaded guilty to several charges.

At his sentencing, Raven apologized to the victims' families and told the judge he didn't know he hit anyone.

"There was absolutely no way he could not have known that he hit something. It was just disturbing," added A.D.A. Phillips.

Robin Walsh worked in the clerk's office at the Luzerne County courthouse.

Security guard Gene Raymond knew her well.

"When Robin came in a room, she just absolutely lit it up. Everybody here loved and adored her. She always had a smile on her face."

He says the feeling in the courthouse changed after Raven's sentencing.

"A bit of relief that it's finally over and it seems like everyone's pretty happy with the sentencing as long as it's more than six and a half years."

Raven's sentence also included some drug charges unrelated to the hit and run.

Another man who helped him power wash the car has also pleaded guilty and has already served his sentence.