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Driver gets youth status in Huntsville soccer star's death

HUNTSVILLE (AP) — An 18-year-old man was granted youthful offender status and probation after pleading guilty in the 2005 death of a Huntsville High School soccer star who was killed when his vehicle collided with her car.

Jonathon Tyler Knight, who was accused of being drunk and speeding with his lights off on the night of the fatal wreck, had been charged with vehicular homicide and assault in the collision that killed Stephanie Dawn Boyd and seriously injured her 12-year-old half-brother.

"I'm sorry for what happened," Knight said in a courtroom apology at the proceeding Monday.

Circuit Judge Jim Smith granted Knight youthful offender status, allowing him to avoid a criminal record and a possible prison sentence. Boyd, who was Huntsville High's all-tie leading female scorer and winner of the Bryant-Jordan Achievement Award in 2005, died a week before she was to leave for classes at Auburn, where she had a scholarship.

With the judge's ruling, Boyd's mother, Deborah Adcox, never got the chance to read a statement she had written to Knight. But she provided a copy to The Huntsville Times, which quoted from it in a story Tuesday.

"One night of partying and sneaking your friend out created a lifetime of heartache for me and my family," she wrote. "You stole from me not only a future with a child that I loved with all my heart, but you stole memories that can never be created."

She said her daughter's smile was more dear than her accomplishments on the soccer field.

Along with the criminal case, a civil suit brought by the parents of Boyd and her injured half-brother, William Travis Adcox, was settled in February for $220,000, according to court records, the Times said.

It is to be paid by Farmers Insurance Group, with $151,000 going into a trust fund for the half-brother.

Knight, who was granted time served by Smith, has been in jail since August when his bond was revoked after he allegedly hit someone with a pool cue.

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Information from: The Huntsville Times, www.al.com/hsvtimes/hsv.html

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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