Drunken driver who killed girl gets 27-year prison sentence

DETROIT (AP) - A drunken driver with 13 convictions was sentenced to nearly 30 years in prison Tuesday for a crash that killed a 12-year-old girl in suburban Detroit.

Charles Cahill Jr. took responsibility during the court hearing and repeatedly wept as Victoria Mack's family spoke to the judge.

"I can't forgive myself. I wish it were me," Cahill, 49, said of the girl's death.

Police said Cahill was drunk when he crashed into a minivan last July in Sumpter Township, near Belleville. He lost his license in 1990 and had served two prison sentences for drunken driving.

Cahill could spend the rest of his life in prison. He won't be eligible for parole until he serves 27 years. His maximum stay would be 50 years.

"This is rare for someone to come in here and say: 'I need to be held responsible for what I did,'" Judge Bruce Morrow said.

Prosecutor Mike Reynolds asked for a minimum prison sentence of 50 years.

"There's always going to be an empty seat at the table because of Mr. Cahill. Nothing good happens when you mix alcohol and an automobile," Reynolds said.

Victoria's mother, Darlena Savage, said she couldn't forgive Cahill, but grandmother Pamela Butts Durley had a softer message. She said he didn't intend to kill Victoria.

"I'm not angry at you," Durley said.

Published: Thu, Jan 26, 2017