The families of Derek King and Nicholas Hodgins showed up in court on Wednesday dressed in T-shirts showing the two dead teens' images. Reports suggest they were there less to watch the sentencing of Alexander Peder, the three-time DUI convict who crashed into their car and killed them, than to advocate that the state of Washington change its laws so that men like Peder go to prison for longer than eight-and-a-half years.
Of the three teens, only Beaver survived. It was three days before their graduation from Decatur High School.
Peder blew a 0.16 blood-alcohol level (twice the legal limit), and police found a half-empty bottle of vodka in his car with a receipt showing it'd been purchased less than six hours beforehand.
As we said, Peder's arrest that night was his third for DUI--the first two having been pleaded down to lesser charges.
This time Peder's plea also brings the charges down and allows him to serve a maximum of eight-and-a-half years. He'll officially be sentenced at a later court hearing.
At Wednesday's hearing, Hodgins' dad Darrell said his "life is ruined" and pushed the need for the state to beef up its repeat DUI offender laws, saying:
"Nothing can bring my son back. It's ruined all of our lives. Something has to change."