Victim’s Family Pleads For Lighter Sentence

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SCRANTON -- A man was sentenced Wednesday morning to in prison for causing a deadly crash that killed a football standout in Lackawanna County, but it was less than the normal sentence for a homicide by vehicle while driving drunk case.

The mandatory sentence for homicide by vehicle while DUI is three years in prison, but the family of victim Kyle Locker didn't want the person responsible for the crash to spend that much time behind bars. They pleaded with prosecutors to lessen the charges, and seek a lesser sentence for their son's former friend.

"I've told them many times before that I'm truly sorry and I always will be.  Thank you."

Sean Barrett apologized in front of a judge and as he left his sentencing for causing the crash that killed his friend.

"Contrary to what you've heard, we've all been in touch with all families.  Remorse has been present since day one so could you please let him get on with his life as much as he can?" asked Barrett's mother.

The man from Dickson City is now confined to a wheelchair from that crash

His blood alcohol was more than twice the legal limit when he wrecked his car on Interstate 81 in Dunmore two years ago.  

Kyle Locker of Dalton was killed in that DUI crash.  His death calls for a minimum of three years in prison, but prosecutors say Locker's family intervened.

"They were friends and the Lockers came to us. They said 'you know, we don't want to see him receive that mandatory three years in state prison,'" said Assistant Lackawanna County D.A. Robert Klein.kyle locker mug

Kyle Locker was a football standout, a star for Lackawanna Trail High School and then player for Lackawanna College.

But it is his family's compassion that stands out now.

"Nothing short of extraordinary compassion, to be able to find that kind of strength," said Klein. "It's nothing short of extraordinary that they said 'no, don't send him for that period of time.'"

This crash didn't only claim the life of Kyle Locker, it severely injured two women who were passengers.  They also spoke before the judge at sentencing about how they wake up screaming, still feeling trapped in that car.

But despite the consequences of Sean Barrett's actions, he got a lighter sentence thanks to the Locker family.

The judge and prosecutors hope he can teach others a lesson.

"Maybe if someone sees him in a wheelchair, but who here doesn't know that you shouldn't drink and drive? This is what can happen," Klein added.

In addition to getting a sentence of one and a half to four and half years in prison, Sean Barrett must also do 100 hours of community service when he gets out. The judge wants that to be spent speaking to young people about drunk driving.

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