CHARLOTTE, N.C. - A jury found Tyler Stasko guilty Tuesday of involuntary manslaughter in a street racing crash that killed three people. The jury had four options to consider: guilty of second-degree murder, guilty of involuntary manslaughter, guilty of misdemeanor death by vehicle, or not guilty.
Police said in 2009, Stasko was racing another driver on Highway 49 when he slammed into Cynthia Furr’s car, killing Furr and her 2-year-old daughter, McAllister. Thirteen-year-old Hunter Holt, who was a passenger in Stasko’s car, also died. Police said Stasko was driving 86 mph.
Today in court, Stasko offered a tearful apology to the victims' families. “I’d just like to say I’m truly sorry for what happened. I did not mean for this to happen,” Stasko said. “I wish I could take that day back, and I know I can’t, but for what I’ve done, I am sorry.”
The trial began last week. Jurors had been deliberating since around noon on Monday. After his conviction, Stasko was sentenced to 4 to 5 years in prison.
Cynthia Furr’s sister, Sharon, said the family was extremely disappointed with the verdict. “We now know that was what the worth of Cindy and the baby were to them,” Sharon Furr said. “But they were priceless.”
Stasko’s defense attorney, Deke Falls, said, “We never thought this was a murder case. ... He was guilty of involuntary manslaughter and the jury did the right thing.”
Hunter Holt’s family did not comment after the verdict, nor did family and friends of Tyler Stasko.
Sharon Furr offered her final thoughts before she walked away from the courthouse overcome with grief. “It was a moment of recklessness for him and a lifetime of darkness for us.”
Carlene Atkinson is the driver accused of racing against Stasko. She also is facing a second degree murder conviction. Her trial date has not been set. Prosecutors would not comment about her case.
Previous Stories: December 12, 2011: Jury charged, deliberations begin in street racing trial December 9, 2011: Driver says he remembers little about crash that killed 3 December 8, 2011: Jurors see site of crash that killed 3 December 7, 2011: Passenger, witnesses describe fatal crash to jury in driver’s trial December 6, 2011: Trial of man charged in fatal crash begins with emotional testimony December 5, 2011: Jury selection begins in crash that killed 3
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