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Driver who killed Jordan Parsons in DUI crash receives 10-year prison sentence after plea deal

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Dennis Michael Wright addressed Parsons family in court as part of his plea deal.

Jordan Parsons - via Bellator Bellator MMA

Two weeks ago Dennis Michael Wright, 30, agreed to a plea deal with prosecutors in Palm Beach County, Fl in connection with Wright’s involvement in the hit and run death of former Bellator MMA fighter Jordan Parsons.

By pleading guilty to manslaughter Wright was offered a 10-year sentence, contingent on him telling the court “the truth about his alcohol consumption and actions on April 30, [2016] including the speed he was driving when he struck and killed (Parsons) and his actions from the time he struck (Parsons) until the time he turned himself in” (per Palm Beach Post).

Wednesday, at his sentencing hearing, Wright addressed the court (which included members of Parsons’ family) and officially received his 10 year sentence. Video of Wright speaking in court has been made available by Palm Beach Post.

Wright told the court, “I’m sincerely sorry that it’s taken two and a half years to not only hear my statement and hear the truth of what happened from the accident, but the fact of you having to be here in the first place. I can not even imagine how extremely difficult it is for all of you, including your friends, to not only suffer the loss of a great person, but your son, brother, friend. I take full responsibility for what happened and for the loss of life for Mr. Parsons.”

Wright also told his account of what happened the night Parsons received his fatal injuries. Wright said that he did not realize he had hit Parsons at the intersection of South Federal Highway and Lindell Boulevard in Delray Beach, Fl, despite stopping and exiting his vehicle and then inspecting what he called ‘extensive damage’ to his car. “I then made the mistake of getting back in my vehicle and leaving the scene,” said Wright.

After Wright left the scene Parsons was transported to Delray Beach Medical Center. Despite multiple surgeries, Parsons passed away on May 4th. He was 25 years old.

Originally from Michigan, Parsons moved to South Florida to train with the famed Blackzilians MMA team. He held a professional MMA record of 12-2 at the time of his death. Parsons last three fights all occurred in Bellator, with his last fight taking place on November 20th, 2015.

In addition to his prison sentence, Wright’s plea deal also stipulates that he carries a photo of Parsons on his person at all times. Wright is also mandated to speak at local schools about the dangers of drinking and driving.

Palm Beach Post spoke with Anna Marlen, Parsons’ mother, after the hearing. In response to a reporter’s question, Marlen said this experience, “will never be [over].” In referencing Wright she said, “He’s just sitting in prison, but my son is still dead. He gets to call his mom or have conversation with his mom, but I don’t get that.”

If you or someone you know if affected by alcohol or substance abuse, help can be found with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357). It’s free, confidential, and open 24/7.

Provincial helplines in Canada can be found here via the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction.

There are a number of UK based helplines for drug and alcohol abuse. They are listed here by the National Health Service.