Alex Pothast, guilty of vehicular homicide, sentenced to 25 year - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Alex Pothast, guilty of vehicular homicide, sentenced to 25 years

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WAVERLY (KWWL) -

A 21-year-old Clarksville man was sentenced to 25 years behind bars Friday after a jury found him guilty of vehicular homicide by drunk driving and vehicular homicide by reckless driving in May.

On March 21, 2010, Alex Pothast was driving drunk in the 1200 block of 240th Street, southwest of Waverly, when he crashed his vehicle, killing his friend Joshua Young of Waverly.

Sentencing took nearly two hours at the Bremer County Courthouse on Friday with about 30 people in attendance.

Victim impact statements were read by members of the Young family. Janean Young talked about what she called a "parent's worst nightmare."

"No matter what the sentence is, Alex Pothast still has his life," she said.

Pothast made no eye contact with her as Young recalled the night her son died.

Young's sister, Nikki, and father, Brad, also read emotional victim impact statements, telling the courtroom how their lives have never been the same since their brother and son was killed.

Young's other sister, Heather, was also in attendance.

Bremer County Attorney Kasey Wadding encouraged the judge to issue the highest sentence of 25 years.

Pothast's attorney, however, recommended lesser consequences and argued that juveniles are impulsive by nature.

Defense Attorney Matt Lindholm said Pothast did not have the ability to vote, sit on a jury or marry without permission because he wasn't an adult at the time of the incident. He encouraged the judge to take Pothast's age into account when issuing the sentence.

Lindholm called a psychologist to the stand who offered a professional recommendation that with guidance, Pothast could become a contributing member of society.

Pothast also read a statement to the courtroom about the memories he had with Young.

"I'm deeply sorry for what I have done, and I hope you find it in your hearts to forgive me," he said.

The judge sentenced Pothast to 25 years, but he could be eligible for parole at any time based on good behavior.

Pothast has the right to appeal the sentence within 30 days.

His attorney would not comment on the appeal issue.

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