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Man convicted in hit-and-run death of UK student out of jail

By: Andy Cunningham Email
By: Andy Cunningham Email

He received a five year sentence for a hit-and-run that killed a UK student. Now the victim's family is furious because that driver has been released halfway through his sentence.

In 2008, Shannon Houser's truck hit Connie Blount, a freshman at the University of Kentucky as she crossed South Broadway in Lexington.

A year later, a jury convicted Houser in connection with leaving the scene of an accident and tampering with physical evidence. Police say Houser attempted to repair his damaged truck after hitting Blount.

Fayette Commonwealth Attorney Ray Larson said Houser served just two-years and six-months of his five-year sentence.

He went on to say, because of good behavior while in jail, Houser was able to shave off more than 420 days off his sentence, making him eligible for release last month.

"This is a prime example of the sentencing scam we are dealing with here in Kentucky," Larson said. "Shannon Houser was sentenced to the maximum five-years in jail, and that's how long he should be serving."

Connie Blount's father, Jack Blount, spoke to us by phone from Utah about learning of Houser's early release.

"It doesn't feel good, it's very, very sad, and upsetting," said Jack Blount.

Blount says he was shocked by the news and calls the Kentucky Justice System, broken and unfair.

"It's not justice, the fact that victims rights seem to be totally ignored by the legal system anymore is outrageous," Blount said. "The system favors the criminals."

Houser's attorney also filed a motion this week to release Houser's truck from the city impound lot. However Larson, who prosecuted the case, says he will oppose that request.

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