‘I never meant to hurt my friends’: Hanover teen charged in deadly wreck sentenced to 6 years

HANOVER COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Seth Fleming, the Hanover County teen charged with his friends’ deaths after a crash in April of 2016, will serve six years behind bars.

According to 8News Reporter Kristin Smith, who was in court for Thursday’s hearing, a pre-sentencing report suggested Fleming spend no more than six months in jail. The judge, however, called that ‘inadequate.’

Fleming was sentenced to 10 years for both charges of involuntary manslaughter with seven years suspended on each charge. He was also ordered to pay more than $35,000 in restitution to the victim’s families for funeral costs.

Fleming was the driver of the 2001 Dodge pick-up truck that crashed on Cold Harbor Road on April 23, 2016, claiming the lives of Dylan Ballard, 17, and Elliott Hinton, 22. A witness told officers they had been drinking and smoking marijuana before the crash.

“Worst nightmare of my life,” Ballard’s mother, Donna, said in court Thursday. “587 days since I last saw Dylan. 587 days I have cried. 587 days I have been living with a shattered, broken heart.”

Hinton’s father, Danny, added, “Our lives are full of nevers. I’m never going to see Elliott grow up to be a man.”

Fleming’s mother, Brenda Harding, said her son would have never done anything to intentionally hurt his friends.

“He takes full ownership of his mistake, but he was also a kid,” she said. “The kid who made a terrible choice.”

Fleming himself added, “I never meant to hurt my friends. I’m deeply sorry for my actions.”

Months after the deadly wreck, a grand jury indicted Fleming on 2 counts of involuntary manslaughter.

A judge then granted him bond on the condition that he stay away from drugs and alcohol and attend substance abuse classes.

But in January of 2017, Fleming returned to jail after a judge revoked his bond after he tested positive for drugs.

This is a developing story. Stay with 8News online and on air for the latest updates.

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