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Racing death sentence: Brooksville man nets 3 years

Hernando Today

Published:   |   Updated: May 28, 2013 at 11:17 PM

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BROOKSVILLE - A 21-year-old Brooksville man will spend the next three years in prison for his involvement in the 2012 racing death of Jonathon Parker on WPA Road.

Judge Anthony Tatti accepted a plea agreement Tuesday, sentencing Paul Thomas Snyder for vehicular manslaughter, racing on a highway, driving with a license suspended or revoked and no motor vehicle registration.

Snyder also was sentenced to 10 years probation and ordered to pay more than $6,000 in restitution and give six presentations a year to high schools or youth groups on the dangers of street racing for every year he is on probation.

Snyder's family and friends sat with him and hugged him before his case was called. Jonathon Parker's sister, Holly Parker, also hugged Snyder before he was taken into custody.

Assistant State Attorney Bill Catto said Snyder's sentence was a downward departure from the guidelines, and explained that on Feb. 9, 2012, Snyder and Parker were racing their Honda Civics along WPA Road in Brooksville - Parker in the correct lane and Snyder in the lane designated for on-coming traffic.

Catto said when a vehicle approached Snyder, he moved into the correct lane, clipping Parker's car.

Parker's car ended up in the woods, and the 18-year-old suffered lacerations to his heart and organs and a skull fracture before dying of the injuries.

Snyder fled the scene, according to Catto, returning later after being called by friends,

"It was a remarkably stupid, tragic incident," Catto said, adding Snyder did not have a valid license or car insurance when he was racing.

"I want you to understand something and understand it crystal clear," Tatti said. "You know the lowest permissible sentence is 113.25 months, almost 10 years."

Tatti said if Snyder violated his probation, he would most likely serve the 10-year sentence.

"I hope you carry that every day you're on probation," Tatti said.

Snyder apologized to his family and everyone involved before he was taken into custody.

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