A man who skipped town after he was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in March was sentenced Monday to eight years in prison.
Cameron P. Crockett was sentenced to five years in prison on charges of involuntary manslaughter and three years on charges of failure to appear.
On March 1, a jury found Crockett guilty of involuntary manslaughter and recommended a prison sentence of five years. The sentencing phase of the trial was set to begin March 5, but Crockett never showed up . He was then indicted for felony failure to appear.
In court, Crockett told Judge Fred Lowe when he failed to show up for his sentencing it was not out of disrespect for the court, but that he was sending a statement that the verdict was wrong and an innocent man is going to prison.
Lowe reminded Crockett a jury found him guilty and going on the run for three months got Crockett three more years on a failure to appear charge.
"That may be true, but he is very principled and he wasn't going to take responsibility for something he didn't do," Crockett's attorney Adrianne Bennett said. "Again, a jury found Crockett guilty, but he went on the run before getting his sentence."
Crockett was later found in Belize on June 8 and promptly deported and flown to Texas, where he was retrieved by Virginia Beach Police. He pleaded guilty to the failure to appear charge.
Crockett had given his passport to his attorney, Andrew Sacks, prior to fleeing the country.
In Dec. 2008, Crockett was behind the wheel when he hit a tree on Wolfsnare Road. His friend, John "Jack" Korte, was a passenger in the car and died at the scene. Both alcohol and speed were factors in the accident.
In court Monday, Crockett cried as he remembered the man he is responsible for killing.
"I am convicted of my best friend's death," Crockett said. "If I could, I would trade my life for Jack's. There is no future for me."
Korte's parents said they would not describe their son's relationship with Crockett as "best friends."
"We did not really know Cameron," Korte's parents John and Judy Korte said. "We only met him twice. Jack wasn't a big partier. We were surprised to hear he was at a party. He was more of a homebody. Many of the people at the party probably didn't even know."
"It seems like this would never end," John Korte said. "That's what it seemed like. We felt like we were never going to get closure on it."
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