Claremore Daily Progress

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June 21, 2012

Hannah gets 20 years

Verdigris crash killed father, son

CLAREMORE — A Rogers County judge Thursday gave a Claremore man two 20-year sentences to run concurrently for two manslaughter charges which claimed the life of a 21-year-old father and his seven-month-old son.

Keaton Leon Hannah, 19, was found guilty on double counts of manslaughter, receiving 20-year sentences for each, and one one-year for one count of leaving the scene of an accident.
Hannah’s convictions stem from his driving while intoxicated on the morning of June 17, 2011, striking a vehicle near QuikTrip in Verdigris, and while attempting to flee the scene, hitting another vehicle head-on, occupied by husband and wife, Eric and Ginger Watkins, and their seven-month-old son, Bryor Watkins, according to court records. 
Prior to Thursday’s sentencing of Hannah, friends and relatives of Watkins — including Watkins’ young widow — appealed to Judge J. Dwayne Steidley to give Hannah the “maximum sentence allowable by law.” 
Hannah’s attorney, Jack E. Gordon Jr., requested leniency, given Hannah’s intoxicated state at the time of the fatalities, to allow him to “make a difference” in the lives of other teenagers, allowing them to “learn from his mistakes.”
“Nothing I can say will make this better — nothing I do will improve this situation — all I can do is the job I’m charged with, and pray for both of the families here today that you find what you need to deal with these losses,” began Judge Steidley. “This case involves what could only be described as a tragic set of events which have taken two lives and resulted in loss, hurt, pain and anger. It’s an example of how decisions — good or bad — can have a profound impact on one’s life and the lives of others.
“It speaks to the continuing problem of drivers and particularly, teenage drivers who make the decision of drinking and driving,” he continued. 

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