Driver Convicted in Fatal DUI Crash Sentenced

William Cady, 26, was convicted in the death of three passengers

A San Diego man convicted of driving under the influence and killing three passengers in a crash was sentenced Friday.

William Cady, 26, watched in court as a slideshow remembering the victims played. Cady was sentenced Friday to 18 years in prison for gross vehicular manslaughter. He was acquitted on charges of second-degree murder.

Taylor Bernardski, 29, Shon Gilliam, 23 and Jeffrey Becker, 35, were killed when Cady’s Cadillac Escalade crashed on Jan. 10, 2014.

Jeffrey's mother Candice Coffed spoke during court, addressing the man who was convicted of killing her son. 

"I will never live what was once my normal life again, I must now discover a new normal to live by," Coffed said through tears. 

Jeffrey left behind a now-8-year-old daughter, she said, and was saddened that he would never have a father to see her grow up, get married or have children. 

"Your honor, I beg of you to hand down to Mr. William Cady the maximum sentence," Coffed said, speaking to the judge. "So he will be unable to do this horrific thing or anything close to it to anyone else."

The SUV was traveling an estimated 87 to 97 mph on the transition ramp from northbound Interstate 805 to westbound state Route 52 when it lost control.

In her closing argument, the prosecutor told jurors that a judge had warned Cady of his alcohol use three years before the fatal crash.

In 2011, Superior Court Judge Melinda Lasater told Cady, “You can't afford to have alcohol in your life.”

However, Deputy District Attorney Makenzie Harvey said Cady's blood-alcohol content was somewhere between .10 and .18 at the time of the crash.

Cady's choices to drink alcohol, smoke pot and get behind the wheel of his SUV, along with his reckless, aggressive attitude, made for a "deadly combination" that night, Harvey said.

Throughout the trial, defense attorney Rick Layon told jurors Cady was guilty of gross vehicular manslaughter and DUI but said his client was not guilty of murder.

In her victim impact statement, Coffed said her son, Jeffrey, was a caring and compassionate individual that would give someone the clothes off his back and the shoes off his feet if they needed them. 

"I often wake up in the night in tears and in sheer terror of how my son suffered before leaving this earth," Coffed said. 

She said she was now a part of the 'Dead Child's Club,' as she called it, and did not wish that on anyone else. 

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