Shawano County man sentenced to 15 years for triple-fatal crash - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Shawano County man sentenced to 15 years for triple-fatal crash


A man has been sentenced to 15 years in prison for a crash that killed three teenagers in Shawano County.

After a hearing that lasted more than four hours, a judge ordered Ryan Swadner, 20, serve the prison sentence followed by 30 years of probation.

He can have no alcohol, no drugs, and must write an apology to the families of the victims.

Swadner, who was 17 at the time of the crash, was under the influence of drugs when he lost control and collided with an SUV on Highway 22 in Belle Plaine.

The crash killed his three passengers: 17-year-old Cody Borsche, 18-year-old Tyler Welch and 15-year-old Paige Brunette.

During sentencing, family members of the three young victims had strong words for Swadner

"You might as well have taken three kids outta the car and shot them in the head. You didn't murder three kids, you murdered three families," said Matt Brunette, father of victim, Paige.

Brunette continued, "I wish you the worst."

Tiffany Allord, the older sister of Tyler Welch, recalled the entire night of her brother's death.

Wanda Borsche, who lost her son Cody to the crash, talked about her son's future with the National Guard and how he was an active member of 4H.

Lead investigative detective, Christopher Gramm, talked about going through 20,000 text messages, some that referenced Swadner selling drugs.

Gramm talked about the night of the crash. He said the four were headed to the Shell station to complete a drug transaction. Swadner was driving Welch around in exchange for a gram of weed.

A witness told investigators Swadner was driving his Mustang convertible about 75-80 mph.

Shannon Broder, Ryan Swadner's mother, also took the took the stand. She spoke about how the crash hurt her son.

Once the floor opened up for arguments, the prosecutor talked about how people who use drugs and drive are a threat to public safety.

"The other driver of the SUV in this case, Duane Jarvis, suffered PTSD after this crash. He is on anti-anxiety meds and has suffered in his marriage, as well as financially," the DA said.

Swadner's attorney said Welch was a user who used Swadner for a ride and was the main drug user/seller.

Swadner read a prepared statement to the court. "I would give anything to give these people their children back. I made the mistake of driving recklessly," he said.

In October, Swadner pleaded no contest to three counts of homicide while driving under the influence of a controlled substance, and one count of injury while under the influence.

Drug charges were dismissed, but read into the record.

Court records show prosecutors wanted eight years in prison for the homicide charges.

Swadner's attorney, Nila Robinson, filed an adjournment five days ago in order to get a psychological evaluation on her client. Shawano District Attorney's Office said "this case has been pending for some time. We have all the victims' families here and this is not the first delay that's happened in this case."

Judge William Kussel Jr. said there's no constitutional right for Swadner to get this type of testing and will not grant the motion "because it's not a critical piece of the sentencing."

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