Families Of Moore HS Students Killed By Max Townsend Say ‘Earthly Justice Has Been Served’

Thursday, August 19th 2021, 6:22 pm
By: Erica Rankin


A Cleveland County judge formally sentenced Max Townsend Thursday.

Townsend was sentenced to life in prison on three charges of second-degree murder, three counts of leaving the scene of a fatal accident worth 10 years and four counts of leaving the scene of an accident each worth two years.

Related: Man Found Guilty Of Killing 3 Moore HS Students, Injuring Others Sentenced To Life In Prison

The three life sentences will run consecutively while the other seven sentences will run concurrently.

The judge revealed Thursday how difficult this trial was to see the evidence and the pain in so many of the family members and witnesses through it. She said sentencing Townsend to make sure he never walks out of prison was not difficult at all.

“There’s no words to describe the pain or the loss that has occurred to us and our family," Erika Martinez, Yuridia's mom, said. "But justice has been served, earthly justice has been served.” 

Max Townsend was silent once again when he walked out of the courtroom for the last time.

Townsend was found guilty by a jury for killing Rachel Freeman, Yuridia Martinez, Kolby Crum and injuring several of their teammates when he ran them over at 77 mph in his Ford F-250.

Read: Students Final Steps: Remembering Lives Lost At Moore High

"I'll always miss my son and I'll never get him back," Tansey Hellbusch, Kolby's mom, said. "To me it is sad that someone is in prison for the rest of their life for harming, killing our kids."

The mothers of the three students killed found strength to read victim impact statements. Each told the judge why Townsend should be in prison the rest of his life.

They noted the hole that will always be in their hearts but said their faith has allowed them to forgive Townsend for what he did, despite the pain.

"I tell people when they give me a confused look as how I can smile and be so firm in my belief is that our children are a loan to us and God saw fit to give me a beautiful daughter for 17 years and then he saw fit to take her," Jody Freeman, Rachel's mom, said.

The judge also mentioned that the only way she got through the trial was seeing the family of those effected every day and the community support they had. She said another thing that pulled her through was a picture of Rachel that she kept next to her on the bench.