TULSA, Oklahoma – A Tulsa man who intentionally ran over seven people will spend at least 50 years in prison. Andrew Mathis received two life sentences Wednesday.
Mathis pleaded no contest earlier this year to two counts of first-degree murder and five counts of assault with a deadly weapon.
Tulsa Police said Mathis intentionally drove his car into a crowd outside a Brookside bar in October 2008. Two men, Carlos Lopez Junior, 30, and Dennis Cox, 38, died.
Police said Cox was breaking up fight involving Mathis when Mathis cold cocked him. Lopez did not know Cox, but he was administering first-aid to him when Mathis ran them over with his car. Five other people were injured.
"To be killed, run over like a dog, and then for him to be like whatever, that's what really hurts," said Lillian Lopez, Carlos Lopez' sister.
"It was a situation that could have been avoided, but choices were made, and we're suffering the impact of those choices," said David Lopez, Carlos Lopez' brother.
Mathis will have to live with his choices in prison. He received a life sentence for each victim, and ten more years for a separate assault and battery charge.
The 26-year-old won't be eligible for parole until he is 76 years old.
"This day is finally here, and I am so glad that the judge's decision was the best for all of us," said Rubi Lopez, Carlos Lopez's wife.
Before the sentence was handed down, family members had an opportunity to remind Mathis about what he had taken from them. Dennis Cox left behind two young sons. Carlos Lopez was also a father, an OSU graduate and veteran who served in both Bosnia and Iraq.
"He was a kind, loyal best person in the world," his brother said. "He would give anything up to help anyone else."
Mathis, who said he doesn't remember either the fight or getting behind the wheel, had no criminal record prior to that night, but he has a history of substance abuse. At the very least, the prosecution hopes this case serves as a cautionary tale.
"He's killed two fathers, killed two sons. It's a tragedy all the way around, and it all boils down to his choice to take an illegal substance or abuse a substance," said Stephen Kunzweiler, an attorney.