Victim's family outraged over suspended manslaughter sentence in DUI case

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Nearly three years after the death of 16-year-old Laura Reynolds, her family says a Jackson County judge is denying them justice.

Halloween night will mark the third anniversary of Laura's death. She was killed on Highway 24 in Independence, Mo., after the vehicle driven by 19-year-old Kenneth Blake Jr. hit her car head-on. Court documents show his blood alcohol content was more than twice the legal limit to drive.

Blake has been in jail the past three years, but on November 1, 2013, he will go free. He is serving a total of four years for the injuries of two other teens, but not one day for Laura's death.

Blake pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter, but his sentence was suspended.

"We thought it was a slap in the face and unreasonable," said Laura's brother, Jake Reynolds.

He wants to know why Judge Charles Atwell suspended the manslaughter sentence.

"He had a choice when he sentenced Blake for killing my sister of zero to 15 years, and he would have had to serve 85 percent of that period, and he chose zero," Reynolds said.

Now he has taken his frustration online, creating www.completeinjustice.com . It contains an open letter aimed at Atwell, questioning his decision to suspend the sentence.

Atwell declined to comment on the case, saying it would be "inappropriate" to do so.

Reynolds said it is unlikely the website will change anything, but he said it's something he has to do.

"All I have left is the fact that I don't ever want to be able to say I didn't do everything I could have," he said.

Sandra Triebel admitted to hosting the underage drinking party that Blake was attending before the crash. She is serving two years of probation.

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