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The Shawnee News-Star
  • Man sentenced in traffic-related deaths of two Pottawatomie County sheriff's deputies

  • The truck driver charged with two counts of misdemeanor negligent homicide in the traffic-related deaths of two Pottawatomie County sheriff's deputies pleaded guilty Tuesday and was sentenced in the case.
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  • The truck driver charged with two counts of misdemeanor negligent homicide in the traffic-related deaths of two Pottawatomie County sheriff's deputies pleaded guilty Tuesday and was sentenced in the case.
     
    William Travis Musser, 33, Burneyville, appeared in Pottawatomie County District Court Tuesday and entered a guilty plea.
     
    Special District Judge David Cawthon heard testimony before sentencing Musser to serve, in each count, one year in the county jail, with the last six months of that sentence suspended. The sentences will run concurrently.
     
    Charges in the case allege Musser, nearly one year ago, caused the deaths of Pottawatomie County reserve deputies Timothy Lowry, 46, and Mike Roberts, 45, both of Konawa. The deputies were on duty and out serving arrest warrants on the night of the accident, which occurred about 6:35 p.m. Sept. 30, 2011, on SH 39 east of Asher.
     
    Charges in the case alleged Musser was driving an unloaded "low-boy" trailer eastbound in reckless disregard of others by making an illegal U-turn involving all lanes of SH 39.
     
    The deputies' patrol unit, driven by Roberts, came over the hillcrest in and Roberts didn't have time to react before striking the rear duals of the trailer, according to the affidavit. In addition, the sun also was setting in the west, which further obscured the low profile trailer from view, reports show.
     
    As part of the sentencing, one Victim's Impact Statement was filed with the case Tuesday afternoon.
     
    Kathy Lowry wrote a letter about her husband, who she described as her high school sweetheart, as well as her best friend, business partner and her soul mate of 37 years.
     
    "On Sept. 30, 2011, our life changed. Every single day feels as if it is tainted by an emptiness and sadness even when we should be happy," her letter reads, adding whatever the occasion, she misses her husband. "Our grandchildren will miss out on all the future memories that they would have had with him."
     
    Kathy Lowry also gave a sentencing recommendation that Musser should write a letter to the families explaining how this accident has impacted his life and if it has changed him in any way. She also wrote that he should do public speaking engagements in schools or provide safety training for truckers to explain how quickly an accident can occur.
     
    "I personally do not believe that jail time is always the best way to help someone change their ways or learn a lesson," Lowry wrote, also suggesting community service.
     
    "Putting him in jail will not bring Tim back and I believe that Tim would have wanted someone to learn a good hard lesson from this and give back to his community in some way so that maybe this will not happen to other families," Kathy Lowry's letter concluded.
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    Based on his sentence, Musser will spend the first six months in the county jail, and then will spend the following six months out on probation. Musser also was ordered to pay a $500 fine and a $250 Victim's Compensation Assessment. He'll also serve 150 hours of community service and be on district attorney's probation.
     
    Musser, who had been out of jail on bond since being arrested and formally charged, was taken into custody Tuesday and booked into the Pottawatomie County Public Safety Center.

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