A man has been sentenced to more than 12 years in prison for a 2015 crash in southern Leavenworth County that resulted in a woman's death.

A man has been sentenced to more than 12 years in prison for a 2015 crash in southern Leavenworth County that resulted in a woman's death.

Steven L. Harris, 48, Kansas City, Kansas, was sentenced Wednesday in Leavenworth County District Court for involuntary manslaughter while driving under the influence of alcohol.

The charge stemmed from a motorcycle crash that occurred Sept. 4, 2015, on Kansas 32 Highway.

Harris was operating a motorcycle. Dawn M. Caruthers, 48, was riding on the motorcycle as a passenger.

The motorcycle went into a ditch and Harris and Caruthers were thrown from the vehicle, the Kansas Highway Patrol reported at the time.

Caruthers was killed in the crash.

Assistant County Attorney Shawn Boyd said in court Wednesday that Harris was over the legal blood alcohol limit at the time of the crash.

Harris pleaded no contest to the manslaughter charge Jan. 10, according to court records.

As part of a plea agreement, the prosecution agreed to a six-month reduction from what was considered the standard sentence in the case. Boyd said all other departures from the state sentencing guidelines were open to argument Wednesday.

Boyd said Harris had 15 convictions in his criminal history. The prosecutor said some of the convictions showed that the defendant had a history driving when he should not have.

Family members of Caruthers spoke during Wednesday's sentencing hearing.

“I am a childless mother now due to your actions,” said Barbara Renowden, mother of Caruthers.

Harris' attorney, Jay Vader, said his client is a productive member of society.

“He has a job,” Vader said. “He is not a threat to society.”

When given the opportunity to speak, Harris apologized to the victim's family.

“It's the toughest thing I've ever been through,” he said.

Harris said he loved Caruthers.

Vader asked the judge to sentence his client to probation, “shock time” in jail or house arrest.

District Judge Gunnar Sundby agreed to reduce the standard sentence by six months as outlined in the plea agreement. But Sundby said he did not find there were substantial or compelling reasons for a further reduction of the prison sentence. He also did not find substantial or compelling reasons to grant probation.

Harris was sentenced to 148 months in prison, or 12 years and four months.

Harris was free on bond at the time of the sentencing. Vader asked if his client could surrender March 17 to begin his prison sentence.

But Sundby said the defendant would begin serving the sentence immediately.

Officers from the Leavenworth County Jail took Harris into custody.

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