Kevin Coffay sentenced to 20 years

Coffay was sentenced to 20 years. (Photo: Facebook)

The Rockville man who pleaded guilty in connection with a May car crash that killed three of his friends was sentenced to 20 years in prison.

Kevin Coffay, 20, had earlier pleaded guilty Nov. 10 to three counts of manslaughter after the crash that killed three Magruder High School students on May 15.

Coffay told court Thursday that he feels guilt every day.

"I am deeply sorry," he said.

In sentencing Coffay to 20 years in prison, the judge said it was simply about justice.

But as supporters of both Coffay and his victims filed quietly out of court, none could say they were happy.

“I don't know that there is a right sentence,” says Tom Lindsay. “Justice is the definition of the punishment fitting the crime. Those people are gonna live with that forever.”

The crash happened when Coffay's car left Olney-Laytonsville Road just after 3 a.m. and hit a tree. Authorities say that Coffay then fled from the scene. He was found near his home in Rockville about three hours later with a strong odor of alcohol, police say.

Spencer Datt, 18, Haeley McGuire, 18, and John Hoover, 20, were all killed in the crash. Charles Anthony Nardella, 19, suffered serious injuries.

In victim impact statements in court Thursday, the young victim's loved ones described a near constant state of grief and said Coffay needs to pay for his crimes.

John Hoover's mother called Coffay a selfish coward more worried about avoiding a DWI than helping his friends. She and the other families declined comment after the hearing but friends told us the scars in their tight knit community run deep.

“We are a very forgiving community,” says Tracey Powell. “And we will all forgive this. We just want closure.”