AMERICAN FORK, Utah — A repo man who caused a deadly car accident while trying to chase down a woman whose car he was trying to repossess was sentenced Tuesday in Fourth District Court in American Fork.
Kenneth Drew had already pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of Ashleigh Best. On Tuesday, he was sentenced to one to 15 years in prison, followed by five years probation.
"This was an unfortunate accident and I do apologize to the family. I know they probably won't accept it, but I do," said Drew as he addressed the court. "My heart goes out to the Best family. I want their family to pick up the pieces and move on. I want the people in my life to pick up the pieces and move on."
It was on May 17, 2016 that Drew showed up at Best's Pleasant Grove home, trying to repossess her Lincoln Navigator. According to police, Best drove away in the vehicle. Drew began chasing her in his tow truck, causing her to crash into a tree. The 35-year-old wife and mother of three died at the scene.
"She put her life on hold to take care of everybody else. She was the most amazing woman I ever met," said Brennen Best, Ashleigh's husband.
Members of the Best and Drew families spoke before the court in support of both the victim and defendant.
Judge Robert Lunnen said the words "consequences" and "responsibility" really stuck with him, which is why he deviated away from the attorneys' original plea deal that would have avoided prison time.
"The facts are he chased my wife 12 blocks, put her into a tree, and killed her and he has to answer for that," said Brennen Best.
The Best family left the court room with a sense of relief.
"We're just really happy. Just really happy for my brother and his kids," said sister-in-law Buffee Best.
Drew was permitted to leave the court room on his own with his family but declined to comment to the media.
He is scheduled to turn himself in next Tuesday, when his sentence will begin.
How long Drew actually spends in prison will ultimately be up to Adult Probation and Parole.