CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - A West Ashley man has been sentenced to 14 years in prison on felony DUI charges in connection with a fatal car crash in August of last year.
Prosecutors say 21-year-old James Munn drove drunk when his car slammed head on into a vehicle being driven by 17-year-old Kylie Gillette.
Munn pleaded guilty to felony DUI in court Monday, saying he wakes up every day with a sense of sorrow and prays for the Gillette family.
Gillette was killed instantly in the accident on River Road and died from a brain stem injury, according to prosecutors.
"The pain never goes away," Lisa Gillette, Kylie's mother, said. "My daughter's life was tragically cut short at the age of 17."
Kylie's sister, Cassidy, said she was heartbroken her sister is gone because she really could have made something of herself.
The teen's father, Ron, told the court he hasn't been the same person since his daughter's death, and recalled the visit from the coroner who told him Kylie had died, calling it a "nightmare."
Munn had just left the home of a friend who died in a plane crash a few days earlier, and was mourning his death, officials said.
Munn's attorney, Jack Sinclaire, said his client suffers from ADHD and depression, and said his friend, Matt Gaither, died in a plane crash a few days before the fatal accident. Sinclaire told the judge medical tests showed Munn's adolescent brain never fully developed and asked the judge to take Munn's age and severe mental health issues into account when considering the sentence.
Munn's mother, Bonnie, said she held herself responsible for Gillette's death and said she wished she could be punished instead.
James Munn said he wakes up every day with a sense of sorrow and prays for the Gillette family.
During the sentencing hearing, the prosecutor said Munn illegally bought the beer that he brought to the friend's house.
Judge Roger Young said Munn lost somebody who was close to him and made a very bad decision.