Parole denied in DUI fatal crash

Barry J. Shortridge

A Pike County man convicted in a deadly DUI-related crash will have to wait another two years before being eligible for parole

According to the Kentucky Online Offender Lookup, Barry Joe Shortridge, 50, of Little Hackneys Creek, saw his parole deferred for two years by the state parole board on May 21. Shortridge has spent much of the past five years in jail or prison in relation a deadly crash at Mouthcard in 2014. Originally charged with murder in the crash, Shortridge was convicted on a charge of second-degree manslaughter in relation to the death of Terry Lee Sawyers and a charge of second-degree assault for injuries suffered by Terry’s wife, Connie Sawyers.

A vehicle driven by Shortridge collided, nearly head-on, with one driven by Terry Lee Sawyers on March 8, 2014. Sawyers died at the scene of the crash, and Connie Sawyers was severely injured. Shortridge was charged with murder due to his level of intoxication, and in September 2015, he was convicted on the manslaughter and assault charges and sentenced to 15 years in prison. He received credit for more than 400 days served in jail prior to his conviction and was eligible to go before the parole board after having served more than 20 percent of his sentence.

Before learning of Shortridge’s deferral by the parole board, Terry Lee Sawyers’ brother, Roy Sawyers, questioned whether Shortridge had served enough time in prison in relation to Terry’s death. Roy Sawyers said he would have a difficult time forgiving Shortridge for his actions.

“I would have to pray a whole lot about it,” Roy Sawyers said. “Do you hold a grudge or forgive? It would be difficult for me to say ‘yes, he deserves to get out.’”

Roy Sawyers said his brother was a husband and father to two daughters. He said Terry was set to soon walk one of his daughters down the aisle when he was killed. Roy Sawyers said Terry missed that opportunity, and more.

“He’s got a grandchild that he never got to meet and he never got to walk his daughter down the aisle,” Roy Sawyers said of his brother. “I don’t think (Shortridge) has served enough time. What limit do you set for a life?”

After learning of the deferral, Roy Sawyers said he appreciates the parole board’s deferral of Shortridge.

Shortridge will be eligible for parole again in July 2021.

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