Driver gets four years in prison for killing two teens in car accident
Kyle Stein appears Tuesday in Hamilton County Common Pleas where he was sentenced to four years in prison. FOX19 photo
Rachel McGrath and Eric Moormann. File photos
A memorial message for Rachel McGrath and a message of support for Kyle Stein. File photo
CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) -
A Hamilton County judge sentenced an 18-year-old man to four years in prison for a deadly car accident last September that killed his two teenage passengers.
Kyle Stein, 18, last month pleaded guilty to two counts of aggravated vehicular homicide. Prosecutors dropped two additional counts of the same offense.
The Sept. 13 accident happened in the 7500 block of Sheed Road in Colerain Township. Stein lost control along a curvy portion of the road, causing his car to drive off the right side and hit a parked Ford Titanium. The impact of the crash caused the Ford to rollover on its top.
Authorities said 16-year-old Rachel McGrath, a McAuley High School student, was in the front passenger seat and was pronounced dead at the scene. Eric Moormann, 19, was in the backseat. He was taken to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center where he died from his injuries.
Stein was also taken to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center.
In an April 8 handwritten letter to Judge Steven Martin,
"It really hurts me knowing that I took two lives in my car
that night," Stein said. "That will be something I will have to live with for
the rest of my life, day in and day out. Mentally, I won't be able to move on
knowing what happened."
In a filing to the court, Stein's attorney said Stein is
learning challenged and he had to put in extraordinary efforts to obtain
Attorney R. Scott Croswell since Stein's arrest, Stein has been on
home detention without incident. He continued to work and attend Miami
University until he entered his guilty plea. While at the Hamilton County Justice
Center, Stein has been a tutor five days a week, attended church services and
went to Alcoholic Anonymous meetings.
Croswell said Stein has no criminal history or history of
alcohol or drug abuse. Croswell said after Stein serves his sentence, he wants to
re-enroll at Miami.
"It is his desire to obtain a degree which will enable him
to pursue his goal of service to the community," Croswell said.
McGrath's mother, Lisa, said Stein and her daughter were close friends during the hearing Tuesday.
"I miss Rachel every minute of every day, but I forgive Kyle. And Kyle no matter what happens today, I hope you take this opportunity to better yourself," McGrath's mother said.
However, Moormann's parents were not as forgiving to Stein. Moormann's father, Steven, told the courtroom what happened was a "life sentence" for his family.
"I had to identify Eric late that night at University Hospital. Eric had a bloody tube in his mouth. His left eye partially open, blood on his face, blood in his ears, blood in his nose, blood in his mouth. Injuries to his head. The staff at University hospital told me not to move the cover on his body because I shouldn't see it," Moormann's father, Steven Moormann, said. "That's a nightmare I always awaken with."
His father said they were upset they weren't contacted immediately after the accident so they could say goodbye.
"Eric died alone, abandoned, surrounded by no one that loved him," he said. "Today we heard a professionally scripted, rehearsed apology from you. Your drama background worked well."
Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters has said Stein tested positive for alcohol and marijuana with a blood alcohol level of 0.113, which is in excess of the 0.02 limit for a driver under the age of 21.