Tulsa Judge Drops Life Sentence To Five Years In Deadly DUI Wreck
TULSA, Oklahoma - A judge reduced the sentence for a man involved in a fatal crash from life to five years. John Freeman admitted he was driving drunk, going the wrong way on the Broken Arrow Expressway when he killed O.Z. Walker.
Freeman's attorneys say even though Judge James Caputo reduced Freeman's sentence, he will continue to pay his debt his debt to society when he's released. Walker's family is devastated by the judge's decision.
Tulsa Homicide Detective Jason White remembers trying to stop John Freeman from driving the wrong way down the Broken Arrow Expressway in March of last year. He watched as Freeman slammed head-on into an oncoming car, killing O.Z. Walker.
He says it's one of the worst accidents he's ever seen as a law enforcement officer. White followed the manslaughter case against Freeman right up to sentencing a year ago.
He says he got a phone call Monday telling him the Judge reduced Freeman's sentence to five years in prison with 10 years probation.
"My first thought was - my heart goes out to the family. I have no doubt they are incredibly disappointed by the decision by the judge," said Detective Jason White.
When Freeman pleaded guilty and was sentenced a year ago, Judge Caputo said he would review Freeman's sentence in a year.
"He is a perfect example of a good person making a horrible lapse in judgment, bad decision and tragedy strikes," said Freeman's attorney, Ann Keele.
Keele says family members, teachers, friends and even a prison guard testified on Freeman's behalf for his sentence to be reduced.
"We sympathize that they lost a loved one, and it was absolutely no fault of Mr. Walker - absolutely none. He was an innocent man, and he lost his life and it's tragic," Keele said. "John Michael is a good person who made a horrible decision to drink and drive,"
Keele says Freeman is tutoring inmates in prison and hopes to make in impact once he's released from prison, warning people about the dangers of drinking and driving.
Judge Caputo would not comment on the decision. O.Z. Walker's family did not want to go on camera, but the District Attorney tells us they are devastated Freeman will not serve life.