An Independence man who shot and killed a teenager in a road rage incident was sentenced Friday to 24 years behind bars.
A jury had found John C. Young, 46, guilty of involuntary manslaughter and other offenses in the May 25, 2017, shooting that left 19-year-old Christopher Hutson Jr. of Lee's Summit dead.
"You took my first-born son, who helped change my life for the better," the victim's father, Christopher Hutson Sr., told Young, who sat motionless in an orange jail jumpsuit and manacles at the sentencing.
"For some reason you were never taught how to control yourself. We'd like to know why, at 46 years old, you did not know better than to shoot into another motor vehicle."
In addition, the victim's mother and two younger brothers each took the stand to express their sorrow and loss.
Hutson was driving home from an ultrasound appointment with his pregnant girlfriend when he had a road encounter with Young. Young became upset with Hutson and yelled, "Learn to (expletive) drive," according to the girlfriend.
Young pulled up to Hutson's car near 104th Street and Holmes Road and shot him in the head. He died days later. Seven people benefited from his organs.
Hutson had graduated high school, was taking college courses and was working to save for a place to live with his girlfriend. His son, born a couple of months after he died, was named Christopher Hutson III.
Young did not address the court. Evidence at trial showed that after the shooting, in which a bullet also grazed Hutson's girlfriend's head, Young went to work as if nothing had happened. He then took a fishing trip to Branson that weekend, and he and his wife went to a Royals game.
When he realized he was about to be arrested, Young had his wife remove the gun he had used, along with illegal drugs and paraphernalia, from their home.
Circuit Judge Bryan E. Round sentenced Young to 10 years for involuntary manslaughter, 10 years for armed criminal action, 20 years for discharging a weapon from a vehicle, 20 years for a second count of armed criminal action and one year for assault. Those terms are to run concurrently.
Round also sentenced Young to another four years for tampering with evidence.