After serving just 10 months, a 25-year-old man sentenced to five years in prison for killing five people in a drunken driving accident, had his sentenced reduced by half Thursday.
On July 3, 2012, a judge had harsh words and a stiff sentence for Jordan Powell. Powell was convicted of manslaughter after he drove drunk and crashed his pickup. All five friends who were riding with him died. A judge sentenced Powell to five years for the crime.
"It don't seem like it's ever going to be over," said Roy Beason Thursday. Beason's daughter was one of those killed. "It's kind of like a nightmare getting worse and worse and worse."
In a manslaughter case such as this one, the law requires the defendant to serve 85 percent of the sentence. But a little known part of that law also allows the judge to come back within a year to lessen that sentence.
So less than a year later, Beason and other family members of those who died were back at the McClain County courthouse as a judge considered reducing that sentence.
According to Oklahoma statute, Powell would have to serve 4.25 years before he would be considered for release. However, a judicial review clause in the law allows the judge to modify that sentence.
"I don't disagree with the ability to do that. I think it is deserved in some occasions probably," said Assistant District Attorney on the case Jeff Virgin. "However, we don't believe it is deserved in this case."
Thursday afternoon, the judge on the case reduced Powell's sentence to 2.5 years and suspended the other 2.5 years.