GOSHEN — When the time came for him to talk, Daniel Snead tried to sum up his feelings in a sentence during his hearing in Elkhart Circuit Court Thursday, Feb. 21.
“Words cannot describe the pain and sorrow that I carry with me.”
Snead, 43, was sentenced to 18 years in prison, six years on probation and six years on alternative placement at the Elkhart County Community Corrections Facility.
He pleaded guilty to two counts of causing the death of another while driving under the influence of a schedule I or II substance or its metabolite in the person’s blood Jan. 17.
Snead was driving west on C.R. 20 just east of Pleasant Plain Avenue when he hit Daniel Runion, 19, and David Anglemyer, 18, as they were riding their bikes early on June 7, 2012. He was arrested Aug. 30 following an investigation of the accident.
Two days before the sentencing hearing Snead’s sister, Sandra Ford, talked about Snead and some of the problems he has had to face throughout his life, including addictions and losses.
“I’m not saying drugs are right, and I’m not saying what he did is right. He needs punishment for what he did, and he is taking it,” she said. “But he is sorrowful and in pain.”
Randy Ford, Snead’s brother-in-law, said Snead’s downfall were his addictions, which came as a consequence to several tragic events in his life.
“Daniel is a great guy. Outside of this unfortunate situation, if you met him, you’d say he’s a great guy,” he said. “He’s lovable, he’s funny, he’s smart and a hard worker.”
The courtroom was packed with members of the families of the victims and Snead. During the hearing, Deputy Prosecutor Don Pitzer said some members of the families of the victims wanted to testify before Snead was sentenced.
Kelly Humes, Anglemyer’s mother, told the court how much the death of her son had affected her.
“The last time I saw my son. ... He talked my ear off about his future, his plans,” she said. “Now my son doesn’t have a future because of another person’s actions.”
Katie Runion, Daniel’s mother, read a letter she had written for the court, telling Snead that she hoped he worked to become a better person.
“It’s my deepest wish that Mr. Snead will receive the medical and psychological help that he needs during his incarceration, so he can come back to society as a new man, a good role model for his children, and a contributing member of society,” she said in her letter.
Christy Runion, Daniel’s sister, answered a few questions for Pitzer. At one point Christy addressed Snead, and there was a moment of understanding and connection between the two parties.
“I want to be able to forgive you someday even though at this moment I’m not ready,” she told Snead “I know you are going through a lot, too, and I wish we all find peace someday.”