VALPARAISO | Center Township resident David Corbett had tears running down his cheeks as Amy Schwartz described the pain her family has suffered as a result of Corbett driving drunk and killing her father-in-law while he was driving his motorcycle.
"You have changed this family forever for what you decided to do," she said.
Corbett, 61, was sentenced Thursday to four years behind bars, followed by four years of probation under the terms of a plea agreement accepted by Porter Superior Court Judge Roger Bradford.
Bradford cited Corbett's extensive criminal record, which features 16 arrests, including three former drunk driving convictions.
Deputy Prosecutor Andrew Bennett said Corbett told a probation officer that most of his arrests involved the use of alcohol.
Bradford also pointed out that Corbett was driving on a suspended license when the June 21, 2011 fatal crash occurred.
Corbett reportedly told officers he was on his way home from a job in Michigan and drank beer before running a stop sign on westbound County Road 600 West at Ind. 49 in Morgan Township.
The motorcyclist, Howard Schwartz, 61, of Rockville, was killed.
Corbett told the victim's family he deserved his sentence.
"I'm so sorry for what I've done," he said.
Bradford told the victim's family that he does not understand why this type of offense is only a C felony, which carries a more limited sentence than higher felonies.
Bradford also dismissed an evidence-based evaluation system used by the adult probation department to determine Corbett posed a low level risk of re-offending. He said his experience tells him Corbett will likely violate his probation by consuming alcohol.