- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 17, 2014

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa Court of Appeals on Wednesday upheld a two-year prison sentence for a 21-year-old involved in the 2011 traffic death of a 14-year-old girl.

The court’s ruling affirms the Johnson County District Court’s sentence for Zachary Lee Swenka, the Iowa City Press-Citizen reported (https://icp-c.com/1wF3Ctg ).

“The district court’s sentence is cloaked with a strong presumption in its favor, and we will not reverse its sentence absent an abuse of discretion,” the court document states.

Swenka was the driver in a 2011 car wreck near Tiffin in eastern Iowa. Swenka, then 18, was accused of driving about 100 mph before losing control of his vehicle and colliding with a van.

Several students from a local high school were passengers in Swenka’s car following a cross country practice. One passenger, Mackenzie Lown, died of her injuries.

Swenka was sentenced in 2013 to two years in prison for involuntary manslaughter. He later requested that his sentence be lightened, but the district court upheld it.

Swenka has been out of prison pending his appeal. He has 20 days to request further review of the decision. If a review doesn’t take place, he is expected to return to prison.

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Information from: Iowa City Press-Citizen, https://www.press-citizen.com/

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