SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- A man from Springfield received a 12-year prison sentence for the death of a woman in a drunken driving crash nearly two years ago. Prosecuting Attorney Dan Patterson says Matthew Brannon, 32, will have to serve at least 85 percent of his sentence before being eligible for parole.
Brannon pleaded guilty in April for involuntary manslaughter for killing Kathryn Wells, 55, on Oct. 16, 2010. Brannon was driving a car that collided with Wells’ car at the intersection of Mt. Vernon Street at Kansas Expressway. Wells' car hit a light pole and burst into flames, killing her at the scene. Wells was a nurse for a hospice and once had been honored as a Nurse of the Year.
Eyewitnesses and a crash reconstruction expert estimated Brannon was driving between 72 and 92 mph in a 45 mph zone. Investigators said Brannon’s blood alcohol content was .159 percent, nearly twice the legal limit for drivers. Prosecutors say Brannon admitted he had been drinking alcohol earlier in the day, and thought he could drive because he was “only a little buzzed.”