A Basehor man convicted of involuntary manslaughter in the deaths of his brother and uncle will spend a year in jail, far less than the 41 months prosecutors sought.
Leavenworth County District Judge Gunnar Sundby sentenced 22-year-old William Mathew Wilson to one year in jail with work release after he was convicted in June of one count involuntary manslaughter in the deaths of Jesse Aldrich and Justin Wilson.
Sundby also ordered Wilson to serve 36 months on probation.
Justin Wilson, 34, and Aldrich, 29, were passengers in a Chevrolet S10 pickup that left the roadway about 5 a.m. June 13, 2015, and struck a tree on County Road 1 near the Kansas River bridge.
William Wilson, who was 20 at the time, was the driver. Justin Wilson and Aldrich were William Wilson’s brother and uncle.
All three were slated to be groomsmen in a wedding later that day at Holy-Field Vineyard & Winery in Basehor.
The wedding was postponed because of the tragedy, authorities said.
Leavenworth County Attorney Todd Thompson cited Kansas sentencing guidelines when he recommended Wilson serve 41 months in jail.
According to Thompson, Sundby ruled against the defense’s motion for a new trial. The judge, Thompson said, did rule that he would depart from the required sentence and ordered the 41-month sentence be suspended.
A packed room of friends and family of Wilson testified to the character and hard work of Wilson, and all asked that he receive probation, Thompson said.
Wilson’s family told the judge he still doesn’t remember who drove.
“This is a horrible tragedy,” Thompson said in a statement released Friday. “We definitely feel sympathy for the family to lose two love ones and then see another have to be prosecuted under these circumstances. Yet, being an impaired driver is something we take serious and should expect consequences.”
Assistant County Attorney Chris Scott noted Wilson’s trial was the third involuntary manslaughter trial of someone under 25 years of age, and a mandatory prison sentence of 41 months is standard.
“The state also argued there was enough evidence to show (William Wilson) was the driver and the jury did so,” Scott said.