Heartbroken family members reacted with disbelief Friday after a judge sentenced a teenager to six years in prison for setting an early morning house fire that killed a couple a few hours before they were to move into an assisted-living facility.
Boyd Haynes, 87, and Doris Haynes, 86, died of smoke inhalation on July 13, 2011.
The couple's only son and two of their grandchildren remembered them in court as loving people of high moral character who taught values and ethics to three generations of offspring.
Doris Haynes passed the time baking cookies; Boyd Haynes liked to work in the garage building Adirondak chairs.
Terry Haynes sought the maximum sentence for Tristan Owen, 17, who was convicted in February of two counts of first-degree manslaughter and one count of first-degree arson.
“My father literally crawled on his hands and knees trying to get to my mother,” Haynes said. “It's amazing to me that somebody can wreak that much havoc on a family and hundreds and hundreds of friends and get away with what I consider an extremely light sentence.”
A jury recommended four years in prison for each of the manslaughter charges and 10 years for the arson charge.
District Judge Kenneth Watson suspended two years of the panel's recommended sentences for manslaughter. The judge did not consider the jury's sentence for the arson conviction because it was the underlying felony in the case and not applicable, prosecutors said.
With credit for time served, Owen could be released in less than four years.