Kirbyville man sentenced to 2 years in state prison for 2012 fatal hit and run

A Jefferson County jury has handed down a 2 year prison sentence for Justin Lawson over fatal 2012 hit and run crash

BEAUMONT - Four years after Mitchell Downs' death, sadness poured out of this Jefferson County courtroom earlier today.

This comes after Justin Lawson was sentenced to 2 years in state prison for criminally negligent homicide.

Debra Fisher is downs grandmother and has been here every day for the trial.

She says she carries the pain of downs' death every day.

"We'll never be over it, but we can be over this part of it and have this closed because it's just been hanging in the air for four years." Fisher said.

What cemented Lawson's maximum sentence for criminally negligent homicide was the fact that Lawson was arrested for DWI in Jasper County 3 weeks ago.

Jefferson County's assistant district attorney Luke Nichols believes Lawson proved he was reckless on the road.

"He was still taking chances with other people's safety and that's why the jury found the maximum punishment with the range they had to work with, which was the full 2 years,” Nichols said.

During tearful testimony today, Fisher says it was devastating to know that her grandson laid here dead in December 2012, and feels relieved that Lawson's negligence will finally receive punishment.

"Never not knowing whether he was going to be set free or put on probation was always up in the air and now it's done it's finished. And this is off of us, this cloud is off of us," Fisher said.

A punishment that can't heal the pain of a lost loved one.

Lawson will also have to pay a $10,000 fine as part of his punishment.

(© 2016 KBMT)


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