Impaired driver who fatally struck 2 Nevada state troopers gets maximum prison sentence

LAS VEGAS (AP) — A man who was driving while impaired when he fatally struck two state troopers last year on Nevada's busiest freeway has been sentenced to prison.

Jemarcus Williams received the maximum sentence Tuesday of 16 to 40 years for two counts of DUI resulting in death, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported. He pleaded guilty to the charge in April.

The crash on the morning of Nov. 30 happened on a stretch of Interstate 15 near downtown Las Vegas. Trooper Alberto Felix and Sgt. Michael Abbate had stopped to check on a driver pulled over on the highway when Williams struck them both and fled.

Williams, 46, evaded authorities for hours before police discovered the car he was driving at a nearby apartment complex, leading to his arrest. Williams has been jailed since the day of the crash.

At his sentencing, the widow of Alberto Felix said to a courtroom packed with relatives and uniformed law enforcement officers that her husband and Abbate “had dreams, plans and a lot of life still in them."

“They were not just police officers,” Arlene Felix said. “They had family and friends and coworkers that loved them.”

Abbate's mother said she is still wrestling with the grief of losing her son, whose injuries were so severe the family had to hold a closed-casket funeral service.

“My heart hurts every second," Judith Abbate said. "I’m half dead.”

Williams said before he was sentenced that he made a stupid decision to drive that morning, despite “all the many options of safe transportation available.”

“I hate the stupid, ignorant decision that I made, which ultimately ended up having devastating and traumatic effects,” he said.

Sgt. Abbate joined the state police in December 2013 and had been recently promoted to sergeant before his death. Alberto Felix joined in 2019 after service in the the U.S. Air Force. Both men also leave behind young sons.

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