RUSSELL COUNTY, AL (WTVM) - A Columbus man learned his fate Friday at a sentencing hearing, months after he's charged with a deadly wreck.
Markees Spires was sentenced to 173 months (approximately 14 years) with 36 (three years) to serve. He also has to pay fines, fees, and restitution.
BREAKING: Spires sentenced to 173 months with 36 to serve. He also has to pay fines, fees, and restitution. He is now handcuffed and surrendered to the custody of Russell County Sheriff’s Department. @WTVM— Sharifa Jackson WTVM (@SharifaJWTVM) August 10, 2018
His attorney says it is a sentencing and day Spires knew was coming.
"He knew he was going to have to do some time, he was just prepared and asked for mercy from the court," said Defense attorney, Jeremy Armstrong.
Family members of the youngest victims’ showing their support in numbers and t-shirts.
Deontaye Caple, 19, and 18-year old Desmond James were headed to Troy University the morning of the crash.
Packing the small courtroom, during impact statements read by District Attorney, family members of the deceased say Spires will never truly understand the anger and hurt he caused.
District Attorney, Justin Clark says this crash was not an accident, but a reckless and negligent act carried out by Spires.— Sharifa Jackson WTVM (@SharifaJWTVM) August 10, 2018
First deputy on scene describes the crash as one of the most horrific scenes he has seen/ responsed to in his career.— Sharifa Jackson WTVM (@SharifaJWTVM) August 10, 2018
“The case has been one of the most difficult cases I have handled in my career. Again, I don’t believe there are any winners in this case. The families. Markees family. The victim’s family they’ve got a lot to get through many years of their life, and Markees himself," said Armstrong.
In June, Spires pleaded guilty to manslaughter, after he was charged with the deaths of four people who died in the accident in Hurtsboro in August 2016.
After pleading guilty, Spires spoke with News Leader 9 saying he knows no amount of apologizing can change what happened, but he hopes the families can one day forgive him.
“I'm just praying and hoping God will put forgiveness in everyone's heart,” he said.
Along with the three-year sentencing, Spires also has to pay fines, fees, and restitution. Once he is released, he’ll be on supervised probation.
News Leader 9's Sharifa Jackson is live-tweeting information from the sentencing.
Spires maintains that he fell asleep behind the wheel. The speeds of his vehicle exceeding 70 miles per hour.. His defense attorney asking for a split sentencing range of anywhere between 18 and 48 months.— Sharifa Jackson WTVM (@SharifaJWTVM) August 10, 2018
No cameras are allowed in courtroom. Spires is currently speaking. Says he apologizes for all the tears and hurt he has caused to the victims.— Sharifa Jackson WTVM (@SharifaJWTVM) August 10, 2018
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