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Suspect Sentenced in DWI Deaths

Published On: Mar 08 2013 01:21:00 AM CST
Updated On: Mar 25 2013 04:04:45 AM CDT

***UPDATE 6:25 P.M.*** A Mid-Missouri man found out Friday he is spending the next 23 years in prison for his part in a deadly DWI crash. Damien Bryan killed two people in a 2011 crash in Cole County. Bryan was convicted of murder for killing 75-year-old Joann Hamilton and 58-year old Donald Edwards in the three-car crash near South Country Club Drive in Jefferson City. The court room was filled with almost everyone in both of the victims' families crying. Three of them spoke to Bryan all telling him how much pain he's caused their families and how avoidable the entire situation could have been. The families all sat together in the court room anxiously waiting to see how long the killer of their loved ones was going to spend in prison. It only took a few minutes before tears started to fall. Family members tell ABC 17 News they wanted Bryan to understand what exactly he has done to tall of them. "I'm talking to you, because you caused this," daughter of Donald Edwards, Betsey Browning said. "Nobody else caused this, you have nobody to blame but yourself, you killed my father and I don't take that lightly." Other family members also spent some time reflecting on the last encounters they had with them and how they would give anything to get one more moment with them. They said they understand that isn't a possibility anymore all because Bryan decided to not change his life. He had at least three prior DWI's. The prosecutor tells us she believes he did receive the proper sentence. "I think there's always the desire that there should be more that somehow there should be more than that, but I think they all understood under the circumstances why the judge did what she did," special prosecutor Amanda Grellner explained. The victim's family pleaded to the judge to do the right thing and give him the maximum penalty. They say with his background he should have still been in prison. But he wasn't, and there isn't anything they could do about that. "I'm not upset about what he got, my dad is worth way more than 25 years plus three, Ms. Hamilton's worth more than 25 plus three," Browning says. Bryan did address the families too. He told the families that he has always been sorry and suffers from depression because of it. But the victim's families just hope he's able to learn something from this. Damien Bryan must serve at least 85-percent of his sentence before being eligible for parole. ***UPDATE 3:33 P.M.*** A judge sentenced Bryan to 28 years in prison this afternoon for his role in the deaths of Dorothy Hamilton and Donald Edwards. ***ORIGINAL STORY*** The suspect in a deadly 2011 crash in Cole County is set to learn his sentence. Investigators say Damien Bryan was drunk when he crashed, killing two people. In October Bryan was convicted of two counts of second degree murder and DWI. He could spend the rest of his life in prison. Sentencing is set for Friday afternoon. Check back in for updates.

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