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GRANGERLAND MAN SENTENCED FOR KILLING THREE

mckinley,caseyCasey McKinley, 19 of Grangerland  who was indicted last month on three counts of manslaughter for killing three in an automobile accident plead guilty Thursday morning.

The crash occurred around 10:15 a.m. at Porter Road (Fm 1314) and S. Loop 336 and claimed the lives of 50-year-old Craig Rector, his girlfriend’s daughter, 20-year-old Felicia Hicks and her common-law husband, Freedom Fitch, 24. All were Splendora residents.

According to police, the victims were in a Mazda sedan traveling northbound on FM 1314 when witnesses say a Dodge Ram 3500 Dually pickup, driven by McKinley, was traveling at a high rate of speed eastbound on Loop 336 and ran a red light where those roads intersect. The pickup struck the side of the Mazda and pushed it into an older model Mercedes sedan that stopped in the westbound lanes of Loop 336 waiting to turn onto FM 1314. Another westbound vehicle was also struck when the Mercedes slid into it.

Rector, the Mazda’s driver, was pronounced dead on the scene. A PHI medical helicopter loaded Fitch and began to take off for the Texas Medical Center, but he went into traumatic arrest and they landed. Like Hicks, Fitch was loaded into a ground ambulance and transported to Conroe Regional Medical Center where both were pronounced dead.

McKinley and the driver of one of the westbound vehicles were taken by ground ambulances to a local hospital. McKinley was treated and released to law enforcement.

Rector was a father of five, and had legal custody of his two grandchildren ages 1 and 3 years, according to his family. Hicks and Fitch shared a 2-year-old daughter, Annabelle. None of the three children were with them at the time of the crash.

The Conroe Police Department Community Oriented Response Team conducted the crash investigation and was joined on-scene by Montgomery County prosecutor Warren Diepraam. McKinley, a 2009 graduate of Caney Creek High School had no prior criminal record as an adult and was a student at Texas A&M, Galveston. He was released from the county jail following an October 22, 2009 bond reduction hearing.

According to District Assistant District Attorney Warren Diepraam, McKinley was sentenced to five years deferred probation, 30-days in jail, have his drivers license suspended for a year, and go through random drug testing. In addition he must spend 250 of community service talking to students about reckless driving and to maintain the memorial site. He could have gotten up to twenty years.

The day of the crash witnesses said he was driving reckless and weaving. It was later determined that he had a heart condition which caused the delay in being indicted. Diepraam feels his condition played a big part in his crash but not in hi reckless driving to the intersection.

In the courtroom before he was sentenced family members of the victims gave statements.

“He said he forgave Casey,” Diepraam said. “He also said he’s glad Casey is being held accountable. Felicia’s father wanted to give a statement but couldn’t because he was so emotional, so I read the statement for him. There wasn’t a dry eye in the courtroom.”

McKinley is still in college.

 

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7 Comments

  1. JDH

    Some say the sentence was harsh, others that it was lenient. But Casey McKinley will serve a life sentence from a higher court. For the rest of his life, he will remember the lives he took and the lives he damaged. It will not bring back the lost ones or do anything to relieve the pain of those left behind. But his is not a small punishment.

  2. easttxhunter

    Maybe the sentence for running a red light is not approriate for the offense. After all, running a red light is just as wreckless and potentially fatal as DUI.

  3. kmiller48

    Well I am definatly glad that he was not sentenced to prison! I realize three people lost their life, but he was not under the influence of anything. He simply ran a red light How many of us have done that? Plenty! check the red light tickets. I think the sentencing was a good choice

  4. sisbell

    The entire situation is so sad for everyone involved, the little girl that lost both of her parents, the young parents who lost their lives and the loss of Steve. But does it really make it better for anyone to send a kid, someone’s child, to prison for an act he is already going to have to live with for the rest of his life? I think the punishment is just. I imagine this as my son and how his life will never be the same after what has happened. I am sure that he did not do this on purpose. I drive by their memorial every day and always wonder about that little girl who will never know her parents and I understand the anger, but I also prayed that Casey would be able to finish college and be able to help prevent other occurences like this. I think he will.

  5. mike

    I respect the fact that he pleaded guilty, I’ll say that. But he was being reckless and stupid, and three people are dead because of it. And all he gets is probation? My god…

  6. Seldom_Capricious

    “McKinley was sentenced to five years deferred probation, 30-days in jail, have his drivers license suspended for a year, and go through random drug testing. In addition he must spend 250 of community service talking to students about reckless driving and to maintain the memorial site. He could have gotten up to twenty years.”

    I wonder if the folks he killed would have considered this a just sentrence for causing their death?

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