Lone survivor of deadly Ind. crash sentenced to 44 years behind bars

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by Brittany Gonzalez

WHAS11.com

Posted on January 13, 2014 at 3:36 PM

Updated Monday, Jan 13 at 7:28 PM

NEW ALBANY, Ind. (WHAS11) -- The lone survivor of a fiery crash in October 2012 was sentenced to 44 years in prison on Monday, Jan. 13. Charles Michael Barlow, 33, admitted to drinking before the deadly crash that killed four people including his fiancé, two friends, and the driver of another car.

Barlow pleaded guilty to the charges of reckless homicide and did receive the maximum sentence according to a plea deal. Five separate family members of the victims spoke out in court hoping to convince a judge to keep Barlow behind bars for as long as possible.

Angela Roby, Michael Roby’s wife, described how Roby’s death destroyed her family. Roby described the haunting dreams of her husband’s death. Family members of Barlow’s fiancé, Laura Weigand, came from New York and wrote Letters. Tara Hirsekorn’s mother and sister spoke out on Monday. Hirsekirn’s sister, Tamara, told Barlow she did not hate him for what he did.

The family of Thomas Stinson, another victim was also in the courtroom. Stinson was a retired LMPD officer and was driving northbound on Highway 111 near Horseshoe Casino when Barlow veered into him.  According to investigators, Barlow was driving more than 80 miles per hour and had twice the legal limit of alcohol in his system when he was driving his cab off-duty and caused the crash.

Barlow cried in court and apologized to each family for his actions. A Floyd County Judge sentenced him to the maximum sentence in part because he has had four convictions in a 10 year span, including another DUI in 2004. Barlow’s mother also testified asking for a lesser sentence for her son. Barlow’s attorney said they will file an appeal hoping to get a lesser sentence.
 

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