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Drunk Driver Sentenced After Injuring Newlyweds

Last updated on Thursday, November 28, 2013

(MORGAN COUNTY) - A man who drove drunk and seriously injured a newlywed Morgan County couple was sentenced to six years in prison.

Police said the couple was driving along State Road 142 East when they were struck head-on by Matthew McKinney more than a year ago.

McKinney accepted a plea deal this week in exchange for having four additional counts dropped - including being a habitual substance offender.

McKinney initially faced lesser charges, but the prosecutor to file tougher charges.

Kristen and Travis Ferran suffered medicalinjuries resulting in 20 surgeries between the two of them. They were unable to work and had more than $300,000 in medical bills.

Even with the couple's extreme injuries, McKinney was only facing a maximum sentence of one year.

"It became painfully obvious that we did not have a good picture of how serious the victims were hurt," Morgan County Prosecutor Steve Sonnega said.

Sonnega said authorities weren't initially aware of the couple's injuries or McKinney's long list of prior offenses - including some out-of-state convictions.

The couple are now looking at purchasing a home and are expecting a baby in March.

The Ferrans won a settlement against McKinney's insurance company to pay for their medical expenses.

A judge sentenced McKinney to six years in prison, with two years suspended.

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