Waterloo teen gets 35 years for deadly hit-and-run - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Waterloo teen gets 35 years for deadly hit-and-run

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Dajour Sawyers Dajour Sawyers
DES MOINES (KWWL) -

A Waterloo teen was sentenced to 35 years in prison for a hit-and-run accident in April that killed an Altoona man.

Dajour Sawyers, 19, entered an Alford plea in December to vehicular homicide and first degree theft.  An Alford plea means that Sawyers doesn't admit guilt, but admits that there is likely enough evidence for a conviction.

Sawyers was originally charged with vehicular homicide, homicide by vehicle-reckless driving or attempting to elude, involuntary manslaughter, first degree theft, second degree burglary and second degree theft.

Police say that Sawyers was driving a stolen SUV in Altoona on April 7, 2011 when he ran a red light and crashed into a vehicle driven by 36-year old Chad Wells, killing him.

In court, Wells' wife Angela said, "Dajour took a piece of my heart.  If there's a sentence that could replace that that's what it would be."

While Judge Richard Blane recognized that Sawyers did not have a prior criminal record, he said the sentencing needed to reflect the crime.

Sawyers was sentenced to 25 years for the vehicular homicide charge and 10 years on the first degree theft charge.  Sawyers was denied probation, but will get credit for time served and will be eligible for parole.

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