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Man sentenced in crash that killed teens

Dec 17, 2013 - The Associated Press

SCOTTSBLUFF, Neb. -- A Wyoming judge on Monday sentenced a Cheyenne man to up to 60 years in prison for a fatal crash in January that killed two Scottsbluff, Neb., teenagers.

Judge Keith Kautz sentenced Ethan Kaufman, 23, to serve 12 to 20 years for each of two charges of aggravated homicide.

Two passengers in Kaufman's vehicle, Hallie Anderson, 19, and Alexis Wheeler, 18, died in the Jan. 9 crash on Highway 92, just west of the Nebraska state line in Goshen County.

Kaufman also must serve three to 10 years on two charges of drunken driving causing serious bodily injury to other passengers, who were injured. Those passengers were Tyler Hill and Stetson Allen, both of Lyman, Neb.

The sentences must be served consecutively, but one bodily injury count could be suspended if Kaufman serves the other sentences without incident. That means the prison time could range from 27 to 60 years.

Prosecutors said Kaufman was traveling 99 mph, was intoxicated and was texting before the crash.

Kaufman was sentenced after emotional testimony from relatives of the women killed.

The families displayed photographs of the women and spoke of the sorrow and grief they have endured. They asked the judge to sentence Kaufman to prison for as long as possible.

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