PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A central Pennsylvania man accused by prosecutors of drag racing before a Philadelphia crash that killed a mother and three of her four children two years ago has been sentenced to 17 to 34 years in prison.
Khusen Akhmedov, 25, of Lancaster was sentenced Monday on a third-degree murder conviction in the July 2013 crash.
Prosecutors say Akhmedov and Ahmen Holloman were racing as Samara Banks and her children were crossing a major artery, and Akhmedov's car hit them. Banks, 27, and three boys — ages 4, 23 months and 7 months — were killed. A 5-year-old boy survived.
Judge Steven Geroff noted that Akhmedov had a history of speeding and aggressive driving and had been warned by a police officer days before the fatal crash, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.
"The community has to be protected from this young man who for the time he held a driver's license showed he had no respect for the rules of the road," Geroff said.
Akhmedov apologized repeatedly to relatives of the victims and asked for their forgiveness. Defense attorney Michael Diamondstein pleaded for leniency, asking the judge for a sentence that would leave his client "some life to live."
The judge credited Akhmedov with "sincere remorse" and called him a "good candidate for rehabilitation."
Holloman, 32, pleaded guilty in July to four counts of vehicular homicide and was sentenced to five to 10 years in prison.