(Kenai, AK) – On March 29, 2023, Superior Court Judge Eric B. Smith sentenced David Charles Casey to a composite sentence of 30 years and 360 days. Casey’s sentence included 18 years and 180 days of suspended time with 12 years and 180 days to serve for the crimes of manslaughter and assault in the third degree. The sentencing was the result of a plea agreement, and the conviction relates to a DUI homicide.
On July 17, 2021, Casey drove while impaired and crashed near his home. Casey left the bar with Samuel Helmuth, Chase Friedemann, and Eli Fredrickson, at around 2 a.m. Casey was noted as driving erratically on the way back from the bar, swerving and driving across the rumble strip. During the drive both Fredrickson and Friedemann reported the defendant made comments about being “DUI” and hoping he did not get stopped. They further reported that Casey accelerated rapidly, well over the posted 35 mph speed limit. Evidence would later reveal that Casey’s vehicle reached a speed of 78 mph. The defendant failed to negotiate a right-hand curve, drove across the oncoming lane and off the roadway. The vehicle violently struck trees in the heavily wooded shoulder rolling and coming to rest on its roof. The collision was so violent that the front driver’s side wheel was ripped from the vehicle. Helmuth was ejected from the vehicle and died of his wounds. Fredrickson and Friedemann sustained physical injuries but survived the crash. Casey fled the scene without providing care to his surviving passengers.
Samuel Helmuth’s family flew from the Lower 48 to be present at sentencing. The family made statements expressing their significant grief after the loss of Samuel. At sentencing, Casey expressed remorse for his conduct to the victim’s family and said he wished he had never driven that night.
For more information, contact Assistant District Attorney Daniel Strigle at firstname.lastname@example.org
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