Michael Wilkerson, a former Duncan firefighter who was convicted on two counts of manslaughter stemming from an alcohol-related accident in 2004, has had his prison sentence reduced.

Wilkerson, now 33, was found guilty of causing the accident at Oliver Road and old U.S. Highway 81 in which Robert and Carol Tomlin, a married couple from Comanche, died.

On March 20, 2006, he was given a sentence of 12 years in prison; of which eight years were to be served with four years of probation. He was also fined $1,000.

In a hearing held March 9, 2007, in District Judge Allen McCall’s court in Lawton, Wilkerson’s sentence was amended to where he will now serve four years in prison and be on probation another eight.

First Assistant District Attorney Dennis Gay explained that every defendant has the right to request a modification of his or her sentence within the first year of the sentencing date.

He said Wilkerson’s defense attorney provided the court a “packet” of information detailing the young man’s model behavior in prison and his participation in the programs and classes offered at the correctional facility as basis for the reduction request.

Gay said the defense also asked that all of Wilkerson’s remaining time be suspended.

McCall answered by saying that any reconsideration would rest on input by the victims’ surviving family members, and he set a deadline of March 20, one year from the original sentencing date, for their responses.

Gay said that when DA staffers contacted Tomlin family members, they were opposed to the modification and planned to object to any further reduction in the sentence.

As it stands now, Wilkerson will be eligible for parole in 2010.

Last week’s modification hearing was held in Lawton so that McCall, the presiding judge for the original trial, could hear the motion.

During Wilkerson’s trial a year ago, the defense used the testimony of his friends and family members in an attempt to show his good standing in the community.

But Wilkerson’s blood-alcohol level of 0.08 percent immediately following the accident appeared to have more impact.

“Let there be no mistake: The use of alcohol caused this accident. That split-second reaction time could have helped prevent it,” said McCall at Wilkerson’s sentencing. “I know this is a tough sentence for you, but I want you to know your family will see you again. On the other side of the room, their family will not be able to see them (the victims) ever again.”

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