SEATTLE -- A man convicted of drunk driving and vehicular homicide will serve four years in prison for causing a crash that killed a Google software engineer last year in Kirkland.
It was the highest sentence the judge could have imposed on Patrick Rexroat, but it will be the last time a similar sentence will be handed down for similar crimes.
Rexroat, 56, was convicted of being drunk when he crashed his car into Steve Lacey's vehicle on Interstate 405 in July, 2011. Police said Rexroat was chasing another car in a fit of road rage.
"Mr. Rexroat you are a killer. Your sentence should reflect that," said Neal Karlinsky, Lacey's friend at Friday's sentencing.
Four years in prison is the current maximum for vehicular homicide and reckless driving. But it was because of this case that lawmakers passed a bill this week doubling the sentence for similar crimes to eight years in prison.
Rexroat appeared grief stricken at the sentencing.
"I would gladly take the man's place if possible and I'm very ashamed and very sorry," he told the court.
Steve's wife Nabila said the couple had just celebrated their 10 year anniversary before the crash that killed her husband.
"Being married to Steve was like living the dream," she said. "In an instant the dream is over."
Lacey's kids are now 7 and 5 years old. Their swim instructor set up a college fund for them called the Children's Memorial Trust of Steve Lacey. Donations can be made at any Chase Bank.