Justin Amorin was convicted of two criminal offenses. The most he could get for each one was five years in prison. He appeared to be stunned and confused when the judge decided to stack the terms, making him serve them consecutively.
Tears flowed on both sides of the courtroom aisle even before the sentencing hearing began. Prosecutors say Justin Amorin caused unimaginable sorrow when he drove his car in excess of 100 miles per hour and slammed into a tree nearly three years ago.
The mother of 17-year-old passenger Gillian Badua, who was killed, wants the young driver to serve a lengthy prison term.
"Maybe by then, you will have learned your lesson for what you did so other families may never have to face the emptiness and all the pain and suffering that we are going through," Michaele Badua, victim's mother, said through tears.
At trial, a jury rejected manslaughter and found Amorin guilty of the much lesser charge of second-degree negligent homicide, which carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison.
"It just hurts," Patricia Kalima, Gillian Badua's grandmother, said through tears. "And he can't even look at us and say he's sorry."
Another passenger, then 17-year-old Gavin Watson, spent 41 days in a coma and was partially paralyzed. Amorin was convicted of second-degree assault for his injuries.
"My son is disabled for the rest of his life," Marcy Ching, Watson's mother said. "He doesn't have no five-year, 10-year, 18-month sentence. He will be disabled forever."
The defense asked for a one-year jail term, saying Amorin's actions were not intentional and that he is remorseful.
"I wanted to talk to them," Amorin said about the victims' family members. "No matter if they wanted to beat me up, yell at me, call me names, I wanted to just go there. My mother, my lawyer, my family told me no."
The judge handed down a 10-year prison sentence, five years for each victim.
"Mr. Amorin is going to pay the price for being, I think, extraordinarily careless," Karen Ahn, Circuit judge, said.