- Associated Press - Saturday, October 14, 2017

UNIONTOWN, Pa. (AP) - A man has been sentenced to 10 to 20 years in a fatal head-on crash that Pennsylvania authorities said occurred as he was fleeing from police at high speed two years ago.

Christopher Kemp, 28, who pleaded guilty earlier to third-degree murder in exchange for the sentence recommendation from prosecutors, said nothing before he was sentenced Friday, The (Uniontown) Herald-Standard reported .

State police in Fayette County said they tried to pull Kemp over for driving with a suspended license in October 2015 but he took off, driving in Wharton Township at speeds of 100 to 115 mph before the crash that killed 22-year-old Erik Yannitelli.

“All he needed to do was stop,” District Attorney Rich Bower said, adding that Kemp’s stupidity and fear of being caught with alcohol and drugs in his system led him to flee and reach dangerous speeds on a two-lane road.

Judge Steve Leskinen said third-degree murder in a vehicle collision is rare, but in 40 years he had never seen such a clear case or one as tragic. While Kemp would have faced a minor penalty and probation if stopped, his reckless actions instead destroyed multiple lives, the judge said.

“It was just short of being intentional,” Leskinen said.

Kemp also pleaded guilty to aggravated assault, vehicular homicide, reckless endangering, fleeing or eluding police, vehicular homicide while driving under the influence and other counts.

The victim’s mother, Kelly Jo Brunner, placed a framed photo of her son on the stand as she spoke about her son’s love of cooking that led him to a job as a chef at Nemacolin Woodlands.

“He was dedicated to his profession and he took pride in his work,” Brunner said. “But family was the most important to him.”

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Information from: Herald-Standard, https://www.heraldstandard.com/

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