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Drunk Driver Who Killed TapouT's Charles 'Mask' Lewis Sentenced to 9 Years

Jeffrey David Kirby at the time of his arrest.
Jeffrey David Kirby at the time of his arrest.

The Orange County Register has the story:

A San Clemente man wept, apologized and asked for forgiveness Friday moments before he was sentenced to nine years in prison for his role in a high-speed, alcohol-fueled crash during a street race in Newport Beach that killed a millionaire mixed-martial arts entrepreneur.

"I never hurt anyone intentionally or accidentally in my life," Jeffrey David Kirby told Superior Court Judge Richard F. Toohey. "I wish I could right the wrong I have caused ... I wish I could reverse the miseries I have caused.

"I never should have driven that night after drinking alcohol," he said wiping tears from his eyes. "I will never recover from this tragedy ... I am very sorry."
Kirby, 53, was convicted after a two-week jury trial in December of one count of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence while intoxicated, plus a sentencing enhancement for causing great bodily injury to a second victim.

Mask's partners issued the following statement (via email):

Tapout co-founder and president, Dan Caldwell said, "The sentence is less than we expected - we figured he'd get the maximum. I'm not sure Kirby is truly remorseful, but he will have time to think about this in prison and I hope he realizes the impact this has had on all of us. Even in death, I hope Charles will change Kirby's life for the better. Charles "Mask" Lewis will never be replaced. He was our friend, a father, a dreamer and a great businessman. I'm proud to say he was my friend and mentor - I'll never forget him."

Skrape added, "I hope Kirby understands he needs to make better choices and that his actions greatly affect others. I hope he learns and grows from this terrible accident. Mask and I were inseparable for 13 years. There isn't a half hour that goes by that I don't think about Charles."

Since Lewis' death TapouT has been acquired by Authentic Brands Group (ABG).