Man sentenced to 20 years in bus stop death
WAIANAE, Hawaii (AP) — A driver who was suspected of being drunk was sentenced to 20 years in prison Wednesday for plowing his vehicle into a West Oahu bus stop shelter and killing a 3-year-old boy.
Potasi Uta Jr., 44, was sentenced in state court after pleading guilty to negligent homicide and fleeing the scene of an accident. He will begin serving his sentence after he completes time remaining on a 10-year sentence for a 2004 burglary conviction.
Ashton Brown died at the bus stop alongside Makaha Beach in March. Four of his family members were also injured. His father was across the street setting up camp for the family that was reportedly homeless.
Prosecutors maintain that Uta was drunk at the time of the crash.
The attorney for the victim’s family said no amount of jail time would be enough to make up for their loss.
“I can only hope that in the process of their healing, they can forgive me for what I’ve done,” said Uta, expressing deep remorse in court, according to KITV-TV.
“If there was a way I could bring this baby back, I would,” he said.
Uta was sentenced to 20 years in prison as part of a plea deal.
“I don’t think losing a 3-year-old son, that any amount of time is going to be enough,” said deputy prosecutor Kaina Awong.