PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – A man convicted in the Thanksgiving Day crash that killed a family of three was sentenced to 70 to 140 years in prison.
“I’m glad that he will be put away. It just hurts a little bit because even if he does have family and friends, he still gets to talk to them, he can still pick up the phone. He can still get a visit,” Joanna Moore said of 25-year-old Demetrius Coleman, the man who killed her cousin and his family on Thanksgiving Day back in 2016.
Their car burst into flames on Thanksgiving Day back in 2016 after they were T-boned in North Versailles on Route 30.
David Bianco, 29, his fiancee Kaylie Meininger, 21, and their two-year-old daughter Annika were on their way to Thanksgiving dinner with family, but they would never arrive.
Police had been chasing Coleman. There was an outstanding warrant for his arrest and he was on probation when he was pulled over for making an illegal turn in East Pittsburgh that afternoon, but he sped away when he saw more police arrive, reaching speeds of 100 mph.
He would later tell investigators he had also smoked marijuana that day.
WATCH THE REPORT FROM KDKA’S LISA WASHINGTON:
The prosecution sought the death penalty saying Coleman “didn’t give a damn.” But Judge David Cashman sentenced him Wednesday to consecutive prison terms that add up to 70 to 140 years.
In court, Coleman apologized, calling the crash a “tragedy” and a “sad situation.” He said, “I never meant to hurt their relatives. I am sorry.”
More than a dozen friends and family members of the victims were at Coleman’s sentencing. Several read victim impact statements.
Meininger’s best friend, Taylor Price, said she does not accept Coleman’s apology.
“I don’t feel that he is sorry at all. I feel like he is only sorry because of the sentencing he got and he didn’t want to go to jail,” she said. “And now he’s going to do a long time in jail. They are never coming back, there is nothing you can do to get them back.”
Price said Meininger wasn’t her biological sister, but she was just like her sister. She said she got emotional while reading her victim impact statement because, “there is not another soul on the face of the earth that is like her, Annika or David.”
The defense for Coleman told the judge that Coleman was remorseful and acknowledged that his actions that day were “wildly reckless.” He also said that Coleman should have had a jury trial.
The prosecution disagreed, saying that Coleman was not remorseful and was only concerned about himself that day, not any of the victims.