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Ryan Karr sentenced in Hwy. 101 crash that killed family of 5

  • Ryan Karr cries during his sentencing for vehicular manslaughter at Sonoma County Superior Court on Wednesday afternoon, March 24, 2010.

A Windsor man convicted of killing five family members in a fiery rear-end collision on Highway 101 was sentenced Wednesday to four years in state prison.

Ryan O'Dell Karr, 29, received the minimum term for the Jan. 19, 2007 crash that happened as he sped through rush-hour traffic under the influence of marijuana.

Killed were Edith Carlos Medina, 23; her son, Fernando Flores Carlos, 7; her grandmother, Maria Lopez Camacho, 54; and her aunt Almadelia Mendera-Basurto, 16, all of Windsor; and her aunt Carmina Solorio, 23, of Mexico.

Medina's then 4-year-old son, Christian Flores, was pulled from the flames and suffered burns over 70 percent of his body and lost part of his leg, arm and an ear.

Remaining family members, including the now 8-year-old boy, were in court Wednesday. A victim's advocate read a statement from Camacho's daughter, Daney Flores, who asked Karr be given the maximum sentence of six years, eight months in prison.

"He took what we most loved and today we need the most," Flores said in her statement. "My mother was the joy of our family. She was the one who supported us and kept the family together."

As she left the courtroom, Flores said only that she was not happy with outcome.

Prosecutor Victoria Shanahan also asked Judge Rene Chouteau for the maximum prison term. Karr was convicted in January of five counts of felony vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated. Toxicology reports showed trace amounts of cocaine in his system.

But Chouteau assigned the lower term, citing Karr's age and lack of a serious record. Karr had a prior felony conviction for possession of stolen property, eight speeding tickets from 1999 to 2006 and one citation for following too close. Probation recommended the mid-term of four years and eight months.

He will be eligible for release in about 2-1/2 years.


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