Drunk driving teen guilty of manslaughter is sentenced to ten years … in church

Tyler Alred and Baptist Judge Norman


AFTER ordering Tyler Alred, 17, to attend church for ten years after convicting him this week of first-degree manslaughter , Oklahoma District Court Judge Mike Norman, 69, told ABC News:

The Lord works in many ways. I’ve done a little bit of this kind of thing before, but never on such a serious charge.

Crazy? Yes. Illegal? Very possibly. But lenient NO!

One person commenting here on the sentence said:

He has the same probability of getting raped in both places so I don’t see how this is a good deal for him.

Alred, 17, pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter in August for killing friend and passenger John Luke Dum in a car crash. Dum died on impact last December after Alred crashed his Chevrolet pickup truck. Alred was 16 at the time of the crash and had been drinking prior to the deadly accident.

The judge, a member of First Baptist Church, could have sent Alred to jail but, instead, taking into account his clean criminal and school records, sentenced him to wear a drug and alcohol bracelet, participate in counselling groups and attend a church of his choosing – weekly. He must also graduate from high school.

Nutty Norman, who has worked as a district Judge in Muskogee for 14 years, said that people who appear before him in future on such serious charges won’t automatically get a church sentence.

It’s not going to be automatic, I guarantee you.

He added:

There are a lot of people who say I can’t do what I did. They’re telling me I can’t legally sentence someone to church.

Alred’s defence lawyer Donn Baker is not among Norman’s critics.

I usually represent outlaws and criminals. This is a kid that made a mistake. I think he’s worth saving.

The judge also said:

I told my preacher I thought I led more people to Jesus than he had but, then again, more of my people have amnesia. They soon forget once they get out of jail. Only time will tell if we’ve saved Tyler Alred’s life.

Hat tip: BarrieJohn