YOUNGSTOWN - A man who was convicted of driving while drunk and causing an accident that killed a woman in February 2010 was sentenced Tuesday to at least five years in prison.
Mahoning County Common Pleas Court Judge Lou D'Apolito gave 32-year-old Christopher Kelso sentences of five years for aggravated vehicular homicide and two years for aggravated vehicular assault, charges a jury convicted him of on July 31.
D'Apolito said Kelso must serve five years of his sentence before he can be eligible for judicial release.
He was the driver of a car that crashed at Wilson Avenue and Prospect Street after going to two bars and driving to a third early in the morning of Feb. 3, 2012.
Killed was Pamela Kennedy, 28, of Boardman. A passenger, Javier Colon, 31, was severely injured.
After the sentence was passed down, the fiance of Kennedy's mother, Ralph Genova, said he was stunned Kelso did not receive the maximum of 13 years, because he refused to accept responsibility, and he was spotted while free on bond, which violated a condition of his bond.
''I just don't get it,'' Genova said. ''It's just mystifying how someone can stand there and tell the judge there were other circumstances. It is what it is, I guess, but it's not enough.''
In a statement, Kelso said he took responsibility for the crash and he was ''impaired'' but he also said ''other factors'' helped contribute to the crash.
D'Apolito said just before sentencing that he did not think Kelso has accepted responsibility for his conduct.
''I'm not so sure that he really, genuinely believes that his conduct was the cause of this tragedy,'' D'Apolito said. ''The other factors, as I saw them, were factors he had created.''
Kennedy's mother, Virginia Sharpe, said she can no longer see her daughter grow up.
''She was a daughter everyone dreams of,'' Sharpe said. ''She was independent and she did things every parent wishes for.''
Kennedy's father, Boyd Kennedy, said his daughter was studying computer engineering and dreamed of designing her own home. He said her death leaves Kennedy's two girls, four and nine, without a mother.
''They're more or less on their own without their mother,'' he said.
D'Apolito also revoked Kelso's driver's license for life.