Man With 8 DUIs Sentenced for Fatal Crash

A man who was arrested for DUI over a dozen times was sentenced on Wednesday for striking and killing a motorcyclist while driving drunk.

Last month Robert Landis, 50, pleaded guilty to homicide by vehicle, reckless endangerment and a slew of driving and alcohol charges. On Wednesday he was sentenced to eight to 17 years in prison. 

On April 26, 2013, Landis struck and killed 24-year-old Liam Crowley in Westtown Township. Landis was driving his 2004 Dodge Ram when he turned his vehicle into oncoming traffic at Wilmington Pike (State Route 202) and Stanton Avenue.

Crowley's motorcycle, which was going straight, was struck by Landis' pickup at the intersection.

Landis told police the motorcycle "came out of nowhere," according to an affidavit obtained by NBC10.

"Liam Crowley would be alive today if Robert Landis had not blatantly disobeyed our laws," said Westtown-East Goshen Regional Police Department Chief Brenda Bernot. "But Landis has demonstrated that he does not care about others and his incredibly selfish acts on April 26 took the life of a young man with so much potential."

Officials say Landis was driving with a blood alcohol level of 0.28 -- three times the legal limit. Before the fatal crash, Landis already had seven DUI arrests on his record and five convictions.

"Getting behind the wheel of a pickup truck at night on the highway with this much alcohol in your system is like firing a 5,000 pound bullet into a crowd of people," said Chester County District Attorney Tom Hogan.

Police say Landis had bloodshot eyes and smelled of alcohol as he slurred his speech following the crash.

Landis told police he only had "a couple of beers." Investigators say they found numerous empty and full beer cans in his pickup.

An investigation showed that Landis -- who was living with his mother -- was also driving on a suspended license. His mother Louise Landis, 85, was charged in July of 2012 with fraudulently registering Landis' pickup in her name.

According to court records, Landis pleaded guilty to five previous DUIs and was entered into an alcohol treatment program two other times -- dating all the way back to a 1981 arrest -- before the deadly crash. Hogan says Landis would have been eligible to drive as of 2012 if he had filled out proper paperwork.

Under state law, the minimum sentence Landis will serve for killing Crowley is three years. Crowley's parents are working with Hogan to increase the minimum sentence for vehicular homicide while driving under the influence to seven years for people convicted of three or more DUIs.

"There are no words I can find that adequately describe what I'm feeling," said Diane Crowley, Liam's mother. "Unless we all begin right now to make changes then there is a ridiculously strong chance that someone you love will be hurt or killed by a drunk driver."

State Senator John Rafferty says he will sponsor legislation for stiffer prison time for repeat DUI offenders.

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