Ex-WWE star Tammy Sytch sentenced to 17 years in prison over fatal car crash
Former WWE star Tammy Sytch has been sentenced to 17 years in prison over her involvement in a 2022 car crash that killed a 75-year-old man in Daytona Beach, Florida.
The ex-professional wrestler, whose real name is Tamara Sytch, was arrested in connection with the deadly car crash in May 2022 – just four months after she was released from an eight-month prison sentence for a DUI charge.
Sytch, 50, pleaded no-contest back on 26 August to charges of DUI manslaughter, DUI with damage to person, and DUI with damage to property, per CBS affiliate WKMG-TV.
Sytch, who went by ‘Sunny’ in her wrestling career, left WWE in the late ’90s and was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2011.
At the time of the fatal car crash, Sytch’s blood alcohol level was three and a half times the legal limit, the local news station reports.
Prosecutors had pushed for Sytch to face the maximum penalty of 26 years in prison due to her repeated offences.
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Sytch’s attorneys countered that the WWE hall-of-famer suffered from mental health issues and should be handed a much lower sentence.
On Monday (27 November), Circuit Judge Karen Foxman sentenced Sytch to 17 years in the Florida Department of Corrections. The sentence is made up of a 10-year sentence and a 7-year sentence to be served consecutively.
The lengthy prison sentence will be followed by eight years probation, during which time, she must undergo a substance abuse evaluation, per The Daytona Beach News-Journal.
Foxman noted in her ruling that the facts of this case were “fairly egregious”, recalling how the former WWE star had admitted to drinking vodka before crashing into a vehicle driven by 75-year-old Julian ‘Fran’ Lasseter, who later died from his injuries.
Addressed Lasseter’s family, Sytch said: “If I could bring Mr. Lasseter back and take his place I would in an instant.”
She told the court: “A precious life was lost that tragic day and I’m so incredibly sorry for that.
“I would ask that you give me the opportunity to atone for what I’ve done and then to be released to society to contribute to it in the most positive way possible.”
Sytch pointed to the death of her fiancé Chris Candido in 2005 and her inability to help him as the beginnings of her downfall.
“What followed was a huge trend of mistakes that I should have learned from,” she said.
Candido, who was also a WWE wrestler, was just 33 years old when he died of acute pneumonia brought on by a leg surgery.
Sytch’s attorney pointed to Candido’s death, as well as the death of her father and her niece as evidence that she had suffered traumatic events in her life.
Elsewhere in the trial, psychologist John Fabian testified that Sytch had been a victim of abuse in a number of relationships and that he had diagnosed her with depression and found signs of bipolar disorder.
Earlier, Lasster’s family spoke fondly of the late Daytona Beach resident, referring to him as a “great guy” whom “everyone spoke highly of.”
Lasster’s daughter Whitney Lasseter Hill had told the court: “He was my world. He was the most positive person. He loved life. And he was a man of God. He was my biggest cheerleader.”
She spoke of his efforts to help the homeless, his ownership of a number of recovery houses that would help tenants overcome their addictions, his excellent health, and the big plans he had had for the next 25 years of his life.
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