An Oklahoma teenager In Muskogee, Oklahoma, who pleaded guilty in the tragic death of another teen has been given an interesting sentence: 10 years of church attendance in exchange for not heading to prison. The defendant, Tyler Alred, 17, is not fighting a judge’s mandate, as his lawyer deems the decision both fair and appropriate.
“My client goes to church every Sunday,” attorney Donn Baker told Tulsa World. “That isn’t going to be a problem for him. We certainly want the probation for him.”
Alred, who was convicted of DUI manslaughter, crashed into a tree last year, an incident that led to the tragic death of his passenger and friend. Tulsa World has more:
The defendant, Tyler Alred, 17, was behind the wheel of a Chevrolet pickup about 4 a.m. Dec. 3 when he crashed into a tree on a county road east of Muskogee. His friend and passenger John Luke Dum, 16, of Muskogee died at the scene.
Alred, a high school and welding school student, admitted to Oklahoma Highway Patrol troopers that he had been drinking, records show.
Although not legally drunk – he was given two breath tests, which, at 0.06 and 0.07, fell below the legal 0.08 blood-alcohol threshold for legal drunkenness – he was underage and, as a result, considered to be driving under the influence of alcohol.
In August, Alred pleaded guilty to manslaughter as a youthful offender and Muskogee County District Judge Mike Norman implemented the intriguing church-based penalty. The district attorney’s office will monitor the teen’s attendance to be sure that he complies.
Some experts have contended that mandating church attendance creates a separation of church and state issue. In addition to going to church, Alred will need to wear an ankle bracelet to monitor his alcohol intake, speak at events about the negative results of drinking and driving, finish high school and go for counseling. Additionally, he will undergo drug tests.
(H/T: Tulsa World)