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Oklahoma man receives THREE life sentences for killing high schoolers with his car


Oklahoma man, 58, receives THREE life sentences for killing three high school cross country runners while drunk driving

  • Max Townsend, 58, received with three life sentences after running over and killing three high cross country runners near Oklahoma City in February 2020
  • He was charged with three counts of second-degree murder, three counts of leaving the scene of a fatality accident and four counts of leaving the scene 
  • He was found guilty on three counts of second-degree murder in June 
  • Townsend was reportedly driving at 77mph at the time of the crash and was under the influence of alcohol and THC
  • Families of the deceased students were relieved at the announcement of his sentencing

An Oklahoma man received three life sentences on Thursday after running over and killing three cross country runners in his pickup truck last year. 

Max Townsend, 58, fled the scene after he ran over seven runners from Moore High School in suburban Oklahoma City on February 3, 2020.

The three students killed were 18-year-old Kolby Crum, 17-year-old Rachel Freeman, and 16-year-old Yuridia Martinez. 

The other students affected were only injured and spent weeks in recovery as a result of the incident. 

Oklahoma man James Townsend, 58, has been given three life sentences on August 19 after running over and killing three high school students in his pickup truck

Townsend was reportedly driving at 77mph and was under the influence of alcohol and THC while driving in suburban Oklahoma City on February 3 2020

Townsend was reportedly driving at 77mph and was under the influence of alcohol and THC while driving in suburban Oklahoma City on February 3 2020 

Townsend ran over seven Moore High School cross country runners, killing half of them. 18-year-old Kolby Crum, 17-year-old Rachel Freeman, and 16-year-old Yuridia Martinez were among the deceased

Townsend ran over seven Moore High School cross country runners, killing half of them. 18-year-old Kolby Crum, 17-year-old Rachel Freeman, and 16-year-old Yuridia Martinez were among the deceased

After five-and-a-half hours of deliberations, Townsend was given three life sentences, the maximum penalty to ensure he will stay in prison.  

Families of the deceased were relieved to hear of Townsend’s sentencing after grieving the loss of the children for over a year.

‘I feel like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders. I’m still sad I don’t have my son but this is such a relief that we can close this chapter’, said Tansey Hellbusch, mother of Kolby Crum told sources after the hearing. 

 Michael Freeman, father of Rachel, told Associated Press: ‘I do want Mr. Townsend to know I’ve forgiven him, even though he doesn’t deserve it.

‘I’m not asking this court for vengeance because that’s in God’s hands, but I do ask for justice.’

Families of the deceased were relieved to hear of the sentencing after enduring the pain of the loss of their children for over a year

Families of the deceased were relieved to hear of the sentencing after enduring the pain of the loss of their children for over a year

Townsend was charged with three counts of second-degree murder, three counts of leaving the scene of a fatality accident and four counts of leaving the scene of an injury accident; he was charged with three counts of second-degree murder in June

Townsend was charged with three counts of second-degree murder, three counts of leaving the scene of a fatality accident and four counts of leaving the scene of an injury accident; he was charged with three counts of second-degree murder in June

Townsend reportedly showed little remorse for his actions after he was sentenced by Cleveland County District Judge Lori Walkley. 

‘To take their life and continue to talk about them as they were just trash that he hit in the roadway is despicable and so he deserves everyday he’s going to spend for the rest of his life’, Cleveland County District Attorney Greg Mashburn told KOCO5. 

At the time of the crash, Townsend was allegedly driving at 77mph before hitting the runners and was discovered to be under the influence of alcohol and THC.

His BAC was reported as being .068 which is below Oklahoma’s legal limit. 

Townsend’s defense attorney claimed he lost consciousness before the crash occurred as he was ‘choking on a Red Bull.’ 

Cleveland County District Judge Lori Walkley has ensured Townsend would receive the maximum penalty for his actions

Cleveland County District Judge Lori Walkley has ensured Townsend would receive the maximum penalty for his actions

Officers arrested him after he crashed into a Volkswagen Bug and stopped a street over from the school, according to KWTV-DT. 

Townsend was charged on three counts of second-degree murder, three counts of leaving the scene of a fatality accident and four counts of leaving the scene of an injury accident.

He was found guilty of three second-degree murder charges in June.  

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