Man convicted of killing 4 teens gets plea deal in latest stolen car case


by Adam Walser

Posted on March 12, 2013 at 11:32 AM

Updated Tuesday, Mar 12 at 8:53 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- He has already served time behind bars after being convicted of stealing a car that resulted in four deaths. Herbert Lee is heading back to prison after pleading guilty to another car theft.

Lee, who already got several breaks from the legal system which kept him from spending decades behind bars, got another break Tuesday in the form of a plea deal.

Some loved ones of his original victims do not think that was punishment enough.

Tuesday in court, Lee pleaded guilty to a lesser charge after admitting he stole a rental car last July and drove it without a license. He will be out of prison in less than three years.

“There's never a level of comfort with somebody like this that it's never gonna happen again,” Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Kristi Gray said.

This was the second time Gray has prosecuted Lee.

The first time was when Lee was convicted of manslaughter, after he crashed a stolen car while fleeing from police in December of 2008.

His friends Damar, Jamar and Marc Claybrook and Aaron Shields all died in the crash.

They were riding home with Lee from a Youth Alive Christmas party.

The Claybrooks' father Marc Hampton and Aaron's father Frank Shields eventually forgave Lee, who served a short sentence after being convicted as a juvenile offender.

Then Lee was arrested again.

“We were on our honeymoon. And to find out he did the same thing, stole another vehicle,” Alsharona Hampton, who was in court Tuesday said.

Her husband, Marc Hampton returned from his honeymoon to attend Lee's arraignment.

“A lot of people are very disappointed because they know this guy was given a second chance,” Hampton said at Lee’s arraignment last July. “He kind of stuck his finger at everybody after he was given a second chance.”

Marc Hampton died three weeks later.

His widow believes the stress of Lee's latest arrest contributed to that heart attack.

“We'll never know. It was just his time,” she said.

“I would like to think that the fact that he pleaded guilty means he's taking responsibility. I can't read his mind to tell whether or not he's remorseful again,” said Gray. “It's inconceivable that someone who saw the consequences of driving a stolen car and taking four young lives could get behind the wheel of another stolen car. “

Lee has been in jail since his arrest last July.

Part of that time, he was serving the remaining seven months of his original sentence after his probation was revoked.

The rest will be credited to his current sentence, which officially began Tuesday.