Still not enough in my book. This never should have happened.
HERNANDO â€” Randall Wade Owen, who earlier this month pleaded guilty to killing two-year-old Ethan Bayless in a drunk driving accident, received the maximum sentence of 25 years in jail at a hearing Wednesday before Circuit Court Judge Bobby Chamberlin.
In an emotional four-hour hearing, the family of Ethan gave tearful testimony about how the tragedy had affected their lives since the accident occurred on Dec. 1, 2004.
â€œHe was my only son, my baby,â€ said his mother Ginger Bayless. â€œHe was a loving, caring child. He loved everyone he knew.â€
Ginger Bayless was driving her Ford Marquis on Goodman Road in Horn Lake and had stopped because her lane was blocked due to construction. Owen, 35, rammed the Bayless car with his pick-up truck and then fled the scene.
The impact of the crash drove the front seat of the car into the child restraint seat in which Ethan was seated, causing massive head injuries.
Horn Lake Police arrested Owen at a supermarket at Goodman and Highway 51 shortly after the accident.
Owen registered a .33 percent blood alcohol level at the Horn Lake Police Station. A level of .08 is the legal definition of inebriation in Mississippi.
Ginger Bayless and her husband Jason donated Ethanâ€™s organs for transplant the day after the accident when doctors at LeBonheur Childrenâ€™s Hospital declared him brain dead.