Victim’s Father Reacts to Reduced Sentence Hearing for Deadly DUI Case

BECKLEY, W.Va (WOAY) – In March of 2016, Cory Sheward was driving under the influence when he drove down the wrong side of the turnpike outside of Beckley and collided with another vehicle killing four and injuring four others.

On Monday, he appeared in court not even a year after his sentencing asking for a reduced sentence. He was originally sentenced to 11 to 55 years in prison. The motion was not granted. However, the victims’ family who has been driving from Ohio for each hearing said they were upset that it was even considered in the first place. 

“This whole thing has just been so tragic,” Steven Davenport, the father of Carlisa Crowell, one of the victims, said.  “And we’re back down here today. It hasn’t even been a year after his sentencing and we’re back down here today for a hearing of reducing sentencing. I’m sickened. I really am.”

According to court officials, in any case, convicted and sentenced individuals do have the right to motion for a reduced sentence hearing after their sentencing. The judge can then approve or deny.

“Whether it’s through a conviction or through a plea, after you’re sentenced there’s what you call a Rule of 35 motion for reconsideration. You can do that in either type of case. It has to be filed within 120 days of when you’re sentenced,” Asst. Prosecuting Attorney for Raleigh County Thomas MacAulay said. 

Even though that motion was denied and for now, Sheward will continue serving his original sentence, the family still feels that justice wasnt served when he was sentenced, and it certainly wasn’t served on Monday. 

“He was given 11 to 55 which 1,155 days or years wouldn’t be enough for what he has done,” Davenport said. “Our lives have been changed forever.” 

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Anna Saunders is a weekend reporter for WOAY. With a diploma from Princeton Senior High School and a mother from Fayette County, she is no stranger to the area. She received a degree in Media Arts and Design from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia and wanted to return home to start her career as a reporter.