WEST CHESTER, Ohio – A judge sentenced a West Chester 18-year-old to six years in prison and a lifetime driving suspension Wednesday for a drunk driving crash that left his friend dead.
Family and friends of Tristan Lacey were emotional in court as they learned he would go to prison for the crash that killed 18-year-old Mark Valentine in December.
Valentine was sitting in the back seat when Lacey crashed into a pole near the Beckett Ridge Golf Club just before 5 a.m. Dec. 26.
Lacey pleaded guilty to aggravated vehicular homicide last month.
Valentine’s father, Ashley Valentine, asked the judge to impose the maximum sentence of eight years in prison. He said they had banned Lacey from their home “because he was a bad influence on our boy.”
Lacey apologized to Valentine’s family during the sentencing.
“Mark wasn’t just a best friend to me,” Lacey said. “He was a brother … I should have thought about the choices I made. Words can’t express my sorrow and remorse for what happened.”
In addition to the prison time and driving suspension, Lacey will pay Valentine’s family $14,000 in restitution for funeral expenses.