Career criminal gets 4.5 years for deadly head-on crash

SEATTLE -- A career criminal was sentenced to four and a half years in prison on Friday for driving into oncoming traffic and killing a Seattle woman in a horrific eight-car crash near the Magnolia bridge in July 2011.

Tim Durdan had marijuana in his system when he killed Rosemary Tempel and seriously injured a second woman in another car. Tempel's family wanted that to lead to stiffer charges that, if convicted, would have meant 16 years in prison. But prosecutors failed to make it stick in court and got a conviction on much lesser charges.

Durban's criminal history includes 30 cases. He has at least two DUI arrests, several convictions for reckless driving, domestic violence, resisting arrest, assault, drug convictions and much more.

Durden arrived 20 minutes late for his own sentencing. As he arrived in the courtroom hallway, he was asked if he had anything to say to his victim's family. He did not respond.

But inside the courtroom, Durban sobbed uncontrollably, and then he spoke.

"I'm sorry! I'm sorry! What can I say?" he said, half talking and half crying. "How can I live with myself? She's with me every day."

And then Rosemary's family, after waiting 17 aggravating months to speak, poured their hearts out.

"I came here today to see the man who killed my daughter get sentenced," said 82-year-old Josephine Drum, Rosemary's mom, "hopefully the max."

The Judge imposed what prosecutors sought: four and a half years, to begin immediately. Six large police officers took Durban away in handcuffs, sobbing. He'd asked for permission to hug his wife and daughter before leaving. The judge said no.

Even Judge Monica Benton, citing Durden's mile long criminal record, said it was partly foreseeable that Durden would end up killing someone.

The victim's family remains furious. They wanted 16 years - not four. They plan to attend every single parole hearing to argue the career criminal stay in prison as long as possible.