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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Crime/Public Safety

‘We will never, ever see our brother’: Driver sentenced to 6½ years in prison after killing pedestrian while under the influence

UPDATED: Sat., Sept. 18, 2021

A man who struck and killed another man with his vehicle last year in downtown Spokane was sentenced Friday to 6½ years in prison.

David Macinnes, 51, pleaded guilty to vehicular homicide immediately before Judge Tony Hazel handed down the sentence, which was jointly recommended by the defense and prosecution.

Macinnes, while under the influence of alcohol, amphetamines and methamphetamine, killed James Boyd on Dec. 9 at Third Avenue and Howard Street. Police said Boyd was trapped underneath the car and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Macinnes told police at the time he is blind in his right eye and has never had a driver’s license, according to court documents. Macinnes also told police he is a type 1 diabetic, but when he checked his blood sugar earlier that day it was normal.

Members of Boyd’s family were present via Zoom at Friday’s sentencing in Spokane County Superior Court.

Stacy Boyd, James Boyd’s brother, asked the court to impose a 102-month sentence – the high end of the 78- to 102-month “standard range” prison sentence Hazel considered – because Macinnes was impaired while driving that night.

“There was a life lost,” Stacy Boyd said. “I’m not going to see my brother again.”

Brenda Harvey, James Boyd’s sister, said she prays for Macinnes.

“I am thankful to God that he accepted the plea and we forgive you, but there is a life that has been taken,” Harvey said. “We will never, ever see our brother.”

Macinnes apologized for his actions.

“I’m very sorry for what I’ve done and I want everybody to know that I feel bad all the time,” said Macinnes, noting his past nine months in jail have been the worst of his life.

Kyle Zeller, Macinnes’ attorney, said Macinnes is haunted about that night to this day.

“He knows what he did was wrong,” Zeller said.

“He wanted to not only accept full responsibility for his actions that day, but he also did not want the family to have to go through a trial, go through the appeal process.”

Spokane County Prosecutor Katie McNulty said one of the biggest benefits of accepting the low-end sentence is the finality it brings to the defendant, state and the Boyd family.

Hazel also ordered Macinnes to 18 months of “community custody,” or probation, when Macinnes is finished serving his prison sentence, as well as $8,123.35 in restitution.

“Frankly, nothing’s going to make up for the loss that you caused, but the next-best thing you can do is to make sure that this never happens at your hand,” Hazel said.

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