Victim's family furious at sentencing

HILLSDALE, MI (WILX) -- The family of a 16-year-old, who was killed in a drunk driving accident, is furious at the sentence his killer got.

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Seth Magda appeared in court Monday and apologized to the family and asked the judge for mercy. Judge Michael Smith sentenced him to 57 to 180 months in prison and said he deserved more.

"It was like a smack in the face," Judge Smith said.

Mike Petrie, the victim's father, said that's how he felt hearing the verdict for the man who killed his son Braxton while driving drunk.

"Our lives are upside down nothing's the same. Sleeps not the same, eating is not the same, coming from work is not the same," Petrie said.

Braxton was riding his bike with his brother when Magda, under the influence of alcohol and drugs, hit him at around 90 miles per hour.

In July, Magda reached a deal with prosecutors where he pleaded "no contest" in exchange for dropped charges of second-degree murder, reckless driving causing death and voluntary manslaughter.

"The other charges should've stuck. We were told there were going to be no plea offers and then they gave him the plea," Ashley Wolcott, the victim's mother said.

Judge Michael Smith ran through Magda's criminal past -- driving with a suspended license, possession of alcohol by a minor, open container in a vehicle and multiple citations- even driving 130 miles per hour in a 65 mile per hour zone.

Judge Smith said that none of those offenses could be used to determine his sentence. Braxton's mom says Smith should have gone beyond sentencing guidelines in this case.

"That's why Seth Magda keeps getting away with what he's doing because there's no repercussions for his actions," Wolcott said.

In a long statement that Magda's lawyer read in court, he expressed regret for his actions and sympathy for the victims family. But Wolcott says it's an apology she does not accept.

"I believe that was to benefit him and to make him to be something he is not because he's shown no remorse at all. None. I will never forgive him," Wolcott said.

Magda also requested that any restitution be paid after he's released from prison. The judge also allowed that request.

The Hillsdale County Prosecutor wouldn't talk with News 10.

When we asked about the plea deal for a previous story, he said it was the right call and that Magda admitted to the crime he committed.

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