A Sweet Home man was sentenced to 20 years in prison on Wednesday morning for killing a mother and her daughter in a drunk driving crash in July 2019.
Brian James McIntire, 30, had been found guilty of two counts of first-degree manslaughter, driving under the influence of intoxicants and fourth-degree assault at the conclusion of his jury trial at the Linn County Fair & Expo Center on Dec. 21.
Emma Pulido, 5, and her mother, Stormy Barge, 24, of Sweet Home, were killed in the near head-on crash, which occurred at about 6:15 p.m. on July 23 on Brush Creek Road near Crawfordsville.
During Wednesday’s sentencing hearing in Linn County Circuit Court, Pulido and Barge’s family members told Judge Thomas McHill how their lives had been shattered and how the crash never should have happened. They also discussed their frustration that McIntire had showed no remorse.
Anthony Pulido, Emma Pulido’s father, talked about how his other daughter, Macy Pulido, who survived the crash, has to grow up without her big sister — her best friend — or her mother. “Our families grieve on every holiday every year, and on Emma’s birthday,” he added.
Valerie Watters, Barge’s mother, said she didn’t think McIntire could fathom what he had done to her family. “I’m not the same person anymore. … On the inside, I’m destroyed,” she said.
Watters told McHill how she suffers from anxiety and insomnia. “When I close my eyes, I see these horrible visions of everything that might have happened to them in the car. I can’t turn it off,” she said.
McIntire apologized for his actions in a brief statement to the court. “I’m sorry for the tragedy and there’s nothing I can do to make up for that or any choices I made,” McIntire said.
First-degree manslaughter is a Measure 11 crime that carries a mandatory minimum of 10 years in prison. Prosecutor Keith Stein and family members of the victims asked for the sentences on each count to run consecutively. Defense attorney Tyler Reid asked that the sentences run concurrently, and noted that McIntire had no criminal history.
McHill, in making his determination to run the sentences consecutively, said that he had to focus on the consequences that people have suffered and will continue to suffer due to McIntire’s actions.
He also said that he always hopes for closure with the resolution of cases. With this case? “I don’t think that’s going to happen,” McHill said.
McIntire’s trial lasted six days and was held in a conference room at the fairgrounds to allow for COVID-19 social distancing guidelines.
Kyle Odegard can be contacted at 541-812-6077 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter via @KyleOdegard.