A North Judson man who admitted to driving drunk and critically injuring four people when he hit their vehicle was sentenced to five years in prison. Dennis Lee Bair Sr., 64, pleaded guilty to a merged count of operating while intoxicated causing serious bodily injury. The charge stems from a Sept. 20, 2014 wreck on State Road 10.
Bair had asked that his sentence be served on home detention through Starke County Community Corrections. All four crash victims sent letters to Starke Circuit Judge Kim Hall detailing their physical and emotional anguish as a result of the wreck and asking that Bair be sent to prison. They also attended his sentencing hearing. One of the victims, Billy Lawson, also spoke during the proceeding. He says he broke nearly every bone in his body, spent 12 weeks in a coma and is being forced to close his business since he can no longer work.
Bair apologized to the family and told them he wished the accident would not have happened.
Judge Hall told Bair he has to pay the consequences for his actions and sentenced him to five years in prison and a year on probation, for a maximum six year sentence. He must also attend and complete alcohol counseling and any other programs ordered by the probation department.