Opinion

Q&A with Mr. Federal Way: Drunk driver shows no remorse with reduced sentence

Got a question for Mr. Federal Way? Email it to mrfederalway@federalwaymirror.com. - Federal Way Mirror
Got a question for Mr. Federal Way? Email it to mrfederalway@federalwaymirror.com.
— image credit: Federal Way Mirror

Q: Mr. Federal Way, what do you think of the drunk driver getting two years cut off his sentence for killing Decatur students Derek King and Nicholas Hodgins back in 2010?

A: It’s really a shame. An utter shame.

On Tuesday, the 102-month sentence Anthony Peder received for killing the two Federal Way teenagers just three days before their graduation, was reduced by two years because of a technicality.

The prison time was cut off because Peder’s original sentencing included a pair of two-year enhancements for two prior DUI-related convictions. But one of Peder’s DUIs was deferred to a negligent driving charge and, therefore, not eligible for the 24-month enhancement. The State Supreme Court ruled last year that those deferred DUI sentences could not be used for the enhancements because it violated state law.

It makes zero sense at all and highlights a deeper problem in today’s culture of people not taking responsibility for their actions. This guy’s action to get drunk and get in a car led to the loss of two 18-year-olds’ lives for no reason at all.

This guy killed King and Hodgins before these two had a chance to experience what life had in store for them and “got off” with “just” an eight-and-a-half year sentence. He got off easy.

And to come back and ask a judge to cut that already-ridiculous sentence by two years is the ultimate in shucking responsibility. And that’s only the tip of the iceberg. Peder’s lawyer also had the audacity to ask the judge to reconsider his client’s entire sentence and bring it down even more. Something the judge thankfully denied.

It’s got to be awful for the victims’ families. Mr. Federal Way couldn’t even imagine losing a child in this fashion.

Making matters worse is the fact that the families of King and Hodgins had agreed to take part in a Washington State Patrol video with Peder to help prevent the utterly pointless deaths that happen when idiots get behind the wheel of a vehicle drunk.

“It tells us that he is ringing a hollow bell of remorse,” Derek King’s father, Randall, told Q13 Fox on Tuesday. “There’s absolutely no credence to anything he’s been telling us that he’s remorseful. It makes us feel the video he did with us was a setup to get off and do this move.”

“For him to do all this work to get out sooner, it just disgusts me. It just disgusts me,” Hodgins’ mother, Mary Bobbitt, said.

But, in the end, there are good things that have resulted from the pointless deaths of King and Hodgins, thanks to the tireless efforts of their families.

State lawmakers used this case as a means to more than double Washington’s vehicular homicide sentencing range. Earlier this year, the Legislature also closed the loophole Peder used in this appeal and now judges must consider prior deferred DUIs as part of an offender’s criminal history.

Let’s keep the memories of these Federal Way kids in mind, especially during the joyous holiday season. Don’t drink and drive. There’s just no way to justify it.

Q: I’ve never fully understood why the people who sell you a Christmas tree always ask if they can “cut off the bottom” for you.

A: Mr. Federal Way has never really thought too hard about this little tidbit. But, now that you have asked the question, it does seem kind of odd.

Obviously, the Christmas tree you just purchased at some converted parking lot is already dead. It was probably cut down by some lumberjack in the mountains a week ago, thrown in the back of a pickup truck and hauled over Interstate 90. How does cutting an inch off the trunk make it last longer?

So, Mr. Federal Way put the research staff on it and there are actually legit reasons why you should cut a little off the trunk. Who knew?

If you don’t cut it off, the tree won’t be able to absorb water, and it will dry out and become a fire hazard. A seal of dried sap will form over the stump in four to six hours.

It’s the same reason why you have to keep water in the tree stand. If a seal does form, you’ll have to make another fresh cut, which is much harder to do when the tree’s decorated.

Q: Last week you wrote about the pompous attitude of University of Washington football fans. How did it taste when the Huskies hired Boise State coach Chris Petersen to take over the program? He was 92-12 during his eight seasons at Boise State.

A: It actually tasted pretty good. Thanks for asking. But it’s still Mr. Federal Way’s opinion that Husky football fans are pompous. Mr. Federal Way actually applauded Petersen’s hire. As a Seattle sports fan, Mr. Federal Way loves to see all the teams succeed.

Mr. Federal Way grew up during the Huskies’ heyday and Mr. Federal Way has great memories of watching Billy Joe Hobert and Steve Emtman. Let’s hope Petersen can bring back the Rose Bowl days of the late Don James.

But Mr. Federal Way is going to stop short of installing Washington as next year’s national champions. Let’s tap the brakes a little bit.

Petersen’s hire last Friday also coincided with the Mariners inking Robinson Cano to a 10-year, $240 million contract. It’s a day that might go down in the history books as one of the better 24-hour periods in Seattle sports.

Q: Mr. Federal Way, what type of lights do you like putting up on your house? Do you go with all one color, flashing or maybe even those lights that look like icicles are dripping off your roof?

A: None of your business.

 

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