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Repeat drunk driver sentenced for killing 21-year-old woman

10:49 PM, Dec 15, 2012   |    comments
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Her daughter was killed in January by a man speeding down Sheridan Boulevard at nearly 80 miles per hour drunk behind the wheel.

"It's just been horrible. I don't know what else to say," Parrish said.

Jenna Breen, 21, had worked the late shift into the early hours of January 14. She was headed home after having breakfast with a friend when 25-year-old Viet Nguyen ran a red light and smashed into Breen's car.

Instead of trying to help, Nguyen and his passenger ran away and tried to hide. Breen died at the scene. 

With the help of tracking dogs, police found Nguyen tucked in some bushes nearby. He had been convicted of drunk driving once before and had his license had been revoked.

"What we wanted to do was convey to the judge the aggravated nature of the case and ask him to impose an appropriate sentence and I respect the sentence he imposed," said Brian Mason, senior deputy district attorney for Adams County.

Exactly 11 months later, Judge Thomas Ensor called Nguyen "death looking for a victim" and sentenced him to the maximum of 12 years for vehicular homicide and added another 10 years for fleeing the scene of an accident, for a total of 22 years in prison.

"Nothing will bring Jenna back," Parrish said. "So, to say it's just. There really is no justice, you know."

Nguyen's family and friends cried together outside of the courtroom after the hearing. His defense attorney, Tim LaQuey, said they are victims, too.

"They all felt the same sense of loss," LaQuey said. "Obviously, you don't compare percentages, but they suffered loss also at no fault of their own."

Parrish said she cried for Nguyen's family when he plead guilty.

"There's no winners here," Parrish said. "I feel so bad for his family."

She says she wants to hear from Nguyen directly, that he is sorry.

"If he ever does want to talk to me, it's OK," Parrish said. "I'd like to talk to him."

Parrish plans on working with legislators in the upcoming session to propose stronger laws for repeat drunk drivers.

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