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Family Upset by Sentence

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FAYETTEVILLE — A Cumberland County family is coping withfrustration and anger in the wake of a criminal court decision Monday.The drunk driver who hit and killed their family member was sentenced tofour months in prison.

Kenneth Sweet was also ordered to perform community service, payrestitution and a fine, and enter a substance abuse treatment program. Ina plea bargain, Sweet pleaded guilty to felony death by vehicle, which bydefinition includes driving under the influence.

Sweet's attorney said the sentence is fair, "under the circumstances."

But the family of 21-year-old Christal Hodge says that is insufficientfor killing someone. Her family says the sentence is an insult, and hermother said that people get longer terms for drug violations or robbing abank than Sweet got for Hodge's death.

Hodge left behind two young children. The family has filed a wrongfuldeath suit.


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