A six-time drunken driver was sentenced to 15 years to life in prison for running a stop sign and killing a schoolteacher, the daughter of a California Highway Patrol officer.
At an emotional sentencing hearing Tuesday for Joel Kyne of Quartz Hill, the family, pastor and friends of Erica Nemback showed pictures of the victim and described their wrenching grief over her death as people in the courtroom cried."(Her father) said he spent the last 25 years of his life dedicated to taking people like Joel off the street," said deputy Mark Johnston, one of the investigating officers. "He never believed it could happen to him. He never thought it would hit so close to home."
Kyne, a self-employed carpenter, was convicted of second-degree murder in the death of Nemback, a 27-year-old teacher from Palmdale. She died Oct. 18, 1997, when her 1993 Honda Accord was hit broadside by a 1992 Toyota pickup truck driven by Kyne.
Authorities said Kyne, 49, had been drinking off and on throughout the day before the fatal crash. His blood-alcohol level was tested at 0.35 percent - more than four times the legal limit - after the crash.
In a short statement to the court, Kyne expressed remorse for killing Nemback. "In essence, he said if he could, he would trade his life to bring her back," Johnston said. "He was really sorry that he caused such a tragedy."
The family expressed concern that no one else should have to go through the suffering they have endured.