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KALISPELL, Mont. (AP) — A man has been sentenced to four years in prison for crashing his pickup truck through the wall of a house south of Kalispell, killing a man who was sleeping inside.

Thomas Owen Lefevre, 22, was sentenced to 20 years in prison with 16 years suspended during a hearing Thursday before District Court Judge Heidi Ulbricht in Kalispell.

She accepted the state's sentencing recommendation, citing Lefevre's lack of criminal history, his age and because he took accountability for his actions.

Lefevre was initially charged with vehicular homicide while under the influence for the June 2020 crash that killed Ronald “Dale” Meier.

Lefevre apologized to the victim's family in court.

Meier's wife did not attend the hearing because she did not want to relive the tragedy, said Deputy Flathead County Attorney Amy Kenison.

“She did want you to know that she was married to her high school sweetheart and she cannot spend another day with him,” Kenison said. “But she also understands on the other hand, because she's a mother, that this is a young boy with a future and she doesn't want him to sit in prison forever.”

The Meier family has settled a wrongful death lawsuit they filed against Lefevre, Kenison said.

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