17 year old teenager, Tyler Alred, pleaded guilty in August to first degree man slaughter after killing his friend, John Dum, on impact in his DUI crash last December. Oklahoma Highway Patrol had initiated a breathalyzer test at the scene of the crash, and found Tyler Alred had alcohol on his breath at the scene of the crash. Being a minor, any traceable amount of alcohol is grounds for immediate DUI arrest.
Judge Mike Norman handed down the controversial sentence to Alred. The Oklahoma teen, who could have faced up to 10 years in prison for pleading guilty, was sentenced to:
- counseling sessions
- ordered to wear a drug and alcohol bracelet
- graduate from high-school
- and attend 10 years in church, weekly, at a congregation of his choosing.
In court an emotional father of the victim, embraced Alred’s father, seemingly forgiving Alred’s son for the mistake he had made that led to John Dum’s death. Controversy followed Judge Mike Norman’s decision because many believe that sentencing Alred to Church is a violation of the separation of Church and State laws. Alred’s DUI defense lawyer was, not surprisingly, in favor of the sentence. As far as DUI attorneys are concerned a 10-year prison deferment is the best thing that could happen to a client. Judge Norman was reported as saying, “Only time will tell if we saved Tyler Alred’s life.”