UPDATE: Families of 4 boys say 10 years is 'slap on wrist' - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

UPDATE: Families of 4 boys say 10 years is 'slap on wrist'

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A Holy Cross man convicted of killing four teenagers has been sentenced to 10 years in prison -- a punishment the families of the boys call a "slap on the wrist."

Police say Joseph Connolly was driving a truck last year when it hit an ATV, killing four 14-year-old boys.

Those teenage victims were Bryce Wilwert, Mitchell Kluesner, Nicholas Kramer and Sean Kenneally.

Connolly took a plea deal, which dropped charges of driving drunk.

Connolly was sentenced to 10 years in prison on each charge, but the sentences will be served concurrently, meaning he will only serve 10 years total.

Thursday was a very emotional day in court.

At the plea deal, prosecutors asked for at least a half-day for family and friends to make victim impact statements.

One of the mothers, Cathy Kenneally, said she knew Connolly didn't intentionally kill the boys, but his reckless actions did.

"I live in fear and guilt every day, worried another accident will happen," she told the court.

Kenneally added that the 10-year sentence amounted to a slap on the wrist.

Laura Kluesner said her family has been avoiding places and things they love to do for a year due to the crash. But in a way, she said, she's lucky.

"I got a hug from Mitchell just hours before the accident," Kluesner said. "No other parent got that."

Chris Kramer said being on the stand giving a victim impact statement was the "hardest thing" to do.

"You're not a bad person, but the choices you made were careless and inexcusable," Kramer said.

Dawn Wilwert talked about the milestones her son, Bryce, would never have.

"We now live a nightmare, every day, for the rest of our lives," Wilwert told Connolly. "We hope you get out and choose to do something with your life."

Connolly was allowed to speak after the victim impact statements.

"I accept full responsibility for my actions," he said, noting he was "willing to speak with anyone if it helps the healing process."

Connolly did agree to plead guilty to four counts of vehicular homicide by reckless driving and one count of serious injury by reckless driving.

Each vehicular homicide charge carries a 10-year maximum, but Connolly's attorney's asked that he serve no more than 10 years total.

Earlier this morning the judge heard arguments on both sides about who should pay for more than $20,000 for an expert witness in this case that wasn't needed. The judge has not ruled on that.

Amie Steffeneicher and Eric Page contributed to this report.

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