SSRI Stories Note: The Physicians Desk Reference states thatantidepressants can cause a craving for alcohol and alcohol abuse. Also, the liver cannot metabolize the antidepressant and the alcohol simultaneously, thus leading to higher levels of both alcohol and the antidepressant in the human body.
Man gets nearly 10 years for hit-and-run that killed infant boy
Court: Driver gets maximum sentence of 9 years, 8 months
JOYCE CHEN; Staff writer
Published: 03/31/1012:05 am | Updated: 03/31/10 3:23 am
Two months after a hit-and-run crash that killed her infant son, Karla Wayman of Fife breaks down at the sight of diapers.
“I can’t even look at other babies because I start crying,” said Wayman, whose 3-month-old boy Jayden died of his injuries two days after the Jan. 24 crash in Fife. “I can’t sleep well; I constantly have nightmares.” Her voice quavered. She put her hands to her face and cried.
Wayman was in Pierce County Superior Court on Tuesday afternoon to testify at the sentencing of the man responsible for her son’s death. Matthew Ryan Hamilton, 25, received nine years, eight months in prison – the maximum sentence – for vehicular homicide under the influence of alcohol and failure to remain at the scene of an injury accident resulting in death. Hamilton, who pleaded guilty March 18, also must serve 18 months of community service.
Prosecutors said Hamilton was driving east on 20th Street East about 10 p.m. when he ran a red light at 70th Avenue East and hit a car carrying Jayden. The child had been buckled in his safety seat on the side of the car where it was struck.
In the courtroom Tuesday, 30 friends and family members cradled glossy 8-inch-by-10-inch photos of Jayden bobbing in his baby seat, squirming on a brown blanket and playing with his 5-year-old sister, Katana.
“Our daughter was loving every minute of being a big sister,” Karla Wayman said, adding that Katana eagerly helped change Jayden’s diapers and get him dressed.
Renae Topham, Jayden’s aunt, asked Judge Vicki Hogan for the maximum sentence. “Even on the chance that another family will have to endure what we’ve gone through, it’s not fair,” she said.
Jon Wayman, Jayden’s father, described the agony he felt the night of the crash, “holding (his) son, hearing him gasp for air.” The worst part, he said, was talking to the doctor and learning that his son had sustained permanent brain damage, learning that “He’d never be a normal boy, never be able to play baseball or throw a football.”
Jon Wayman said he and his wife prayed by Jayden’s bedside, “waiting for a twitch,“ before they ultimately decided to take him off life support.
Defense attorney Dino Sepe said Hamilton felt intense guilt.
“Matthew has shown nothing but remorse from the first day I met him,” Sepe said, adding that Hamilton, who worked at a warehouse at the time of the crash, has a toddler himself. Hamilton has been plagued by alcoholism and depression and was on antidepressants, Sepe said.
Hamilton made a brief, quiet statement. “I’m sorry for the loss I’ve caused this family over the reckless life I’ve been living,” he said. Hamilton previously has been convicted in Grant and Whatcom counties of hit-and-run and negligent driving, including driving under the influence in November, according to Pierce County prosecutors.
After the sentencing, Jon Wayman said he thought the maximum sentence would give Hamilton time to reflect on the damage he has done. “He needs to look for a better life,” he said. “We believe there’s redemption and help in God.”
Joyce Chen: 253-597-8426