SALEM, Va.—A drunk driver who killed a mother and her son will spend 38 years in prison.
A Roanoke County judge formally sentenced Paul Harris Wednesday morning. Harris was behind the wheel last year when he ran a red light and hit several cars on Route 460, killing Liberty University professor Jill Jones and her son, Nicholas.
Harris took the stand before sentencing and told the court the jury got it wrong. "I don't think they listened to all the evidence." He insists he has no memory of the accident or the events leading up to it, but says "The chances of me being intoxicated are pretty slim."
Harris also told the court "I'm pretty lucky to be alive." Jill Jones' husband and Nicholas' father, Ray Jones, responded by saying, "Yes you are. My wife and son are not."
Ray Jones told News7's Justin McLeod he wished Harris would have taken responsibility and owned up to his mistakes, but he didn't expect him to.
Harris received 12 months for DUI, five years for maiming while driving under the influence, 32 years for aggravated involuntary manslaughter.
Harris' attorney says he plans to appeal the sentence. He has 30 days to do so.