A young man who killed his girlfriend in a drunk-driving crash will spend the next 10 years in prison for negligent homicide.
Devon Shane Keser apologized to Kortney Biton-Schubert’s family during his sentencing Wednesday.
“I want to say sorry to Kortney’s family for what I did, the pain and suffering I put them through,” Keser said. “I want to say I’m sorry to friends.”
On Aug. 12, 2015, Keser was drinking and driving with four people in his Jeep. Witnesses say he was speeding, weaving in and out of traffic, when he lost control and hit a guard rail, killing his girlfriend.
“It was not an accident when the defendant decided to drink that night. It was not an accident when he chose to pound beers that night,” said deputy prosecuting attorney Cheuk Fu Lui.
In court, the judge said anything short of the full prison term is insufficient.
With tears, hugs and a tight embrace, victims’ family members comforted each other after the sentencing.
“We recognize that this tragic accident could have been avoided if better choices were made,” said Theresa Schubert, Biton-Schubert’s cousin.
Biton-Schubert was only 18 years old when she died following a car crash on the H-1 Freeway near the Vineyard Boulevard off-ramp. Other passengers were injured, including 22-year-old Joshua Tica, who was on life support following the crash, but survived.
Police say no one in the car was wearing a seat belt.
While family members are still coping with the loss, they asked the judge for leniency, even probation.
“I very much admire their forgiveness, to be charitable and forgiving,” Keser said.
But the judge did not feel that was appropriate.
“Losing our Kortney continues to be a challenge for our family, however it is our hope, that our loss will only help others keep their loved ones alive,” Schubert said.