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30-year sentence stands for drunk who killed 3 in crash

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.The Associated Press

Wednesday, February 17, 2016 10:28 AM
Thirty years stands as the price a New Haven man must pay for killing three people in an April car crash while he was drunk.

The Indiana Court of Appeals on Tuesday upheld the sentence imposed on Anthony W. Dager in August. Dager, then 26, pleaded guilty in June in Wells Circuit Court to three counts of causing death while operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol level of 0.15 percent or more, a Level 4 felony.

The Court of Appeals ruled that it was appropriate to sentence him to 10 years in prison for each of the victims he killed. In its opinion, the court said, “Perhaps most importantly, the existence of multiple victims in this case clearly warrants the imposition of consecutive sentences, as has been repeatedly held by our courts.”

According to documents filed with the charges, investigators said Dager was drunk when he crashed into another vehicle at 4:45 a.m. April 4 on Indiana 1 in northern Wells County, killing all three people inside that northbound car: driver Rebecca Prentice, 72, of Ossian and passengers Paul Penrod, 64, of Murray and Karen Smith, 65, of Bluffton. The three people killed were headed for Fort Wayne International Airport, where Smith and Penrod were to leave for a vacation in Hawaii.

Prentice and Penrod died at the site of the crash, about a quarter-mile north of Wells County Road 1100 North on Indiana 1. Smith lived long enough to tell a medic about the wreck. She died about 2 1/2 hours later at Lutheran Hospital.

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