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SC man in fatal joyriding crash sentenced to a year

The man behind the wheel of a fatal joyriding accident was sentenced Thursday at the Stark County Courthouse to a year and a day of incarceration.

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Southwest District Court Judge Dann Greenwood sentenced Wayne Pauli to five years — with all but the year and a day suspended — plus four years supervised probation that will take effect upon Pauli’s release.

Pauli, from Akins, S.C., is also to be evaluated for addiction of alcohol and drugs while he is incarcerated, and undergo any treatment deemed necessary. He’ll get credit for the 224 days he has spent in jail since the incident.

After drinking four or five beers with friends on back roads near Hebron in early April, Pauli flipped his pickup on a curve.

Spencer Glen Rae of Lyman, Wyo., was killed in the accident. When tested after the incident, Pauli was found to have a blood-alcohol level of .067. He had also smoked marijuana.

Both sides agreed during the sentencing process that Pauli, 53, would benefit from some form of alcohol and drug use treatment, but diverged on where that should be done — behind bars or under supervision on probation.

In the end, Greenwood found a balance with a sentence shorter than the state’s recommendation of five years with two suspended.

State’s Attorney Tom Henning emphasized during the sentencing process how many of Pauli’s past run-ins with the law were related to alcohol. Pauli has said he doesn’t have a drinking problem, but Greenwood didn’t buy it.

“The court concludes that the defendant is fooling himself,” he said.

He is remorseful for what he did, Pauli said when he testified.

Wayne Pauli Jr. testified in support of leniency for his father at the first of two sentencing hearings Nov. 5.

Pauli Jr. said while Rae’s death is a tragedy, with a long sentence, the Pauli family would lose a family member as well.

Pauli originally faced a charge of manslaughter, but it was changed to negligent homicide in a plea deal.