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Victims' family outraged after killer's sentence cut in half

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CLINTON- Family members of seven victims killed in a crash one year ago in Slaughter expressed outrage today, after a Judge reduced the sentence for Brett Gerald in half.

The ruling was made after the Judge reviewed a recent state Supreme Court ruling which classifies vehicular homicide as a violent crime. The high court ruled that people convicted of vehicular homicide must serve at least 85% of their sentence.

Last month, Judge William Carmichael sentenced Brett Gerald to 70 years in prison for driving drunk and causing the crash that caused seven people to die. Today, he reduced the sentence by 35 years to match the potential release date with his original intention.

"For the judge to say I never intended you to do a life sentence, that's a slap in the face," Marcus Gaines, the son of one of the victims said. "To bring my family out here two days after Mother's Day, and we couldn't even see our family."

"This is truly an outrage," John Gaines Jr. said. "For the world to see an injustice like this is unheard of.  Mr. Gerald should have served 85% of 70 years."

Their father was also mystified by the ruling in court.

"Everything has been totally out of order here and it's unacceptable," John Gaines Sr. said.

Brett Gerald didn't say a word as he exited the courtroom in handcuffs this morning. When asked about the reduced sentence, he kept walking.

"I think the judge made a ruling of equity," Gerald's attorney Tommy D'Amico said.  "As he said from the bench, he never intended for Brett Gerald to spend the rest of his life in jail as a result of this."

As this family continues to try to make sense out of this tragedy, they are getting ready to mark the date that their lives changed forever: in two weeks it will be a year since the crash that killed their seven loved ones.


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