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Man sentenced to 33 years in DUI death

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Stanley Jefson, the 52-year-old man who was arrested in the DUI manslaughter death of a 12-year-old Savannah Pfeiffer in April of 2014, was given the longest DUI sentence ever handed down in Duval County.

Jefson pleaded guilty to DUI manslaughter, two counts of DUI with serious bodily harm and 10 counts of DUI with property damage on Wednesday and will spend the next 33½ years in prison, with misdemeanor charges running concurrently with the DUI manslaughter felony charge.

According to Lee Smith, assistant state attorney, it's the longest DUI sentence he's ever seen in his three years working as a prosecutor for the Traffic Homicide unit.

"I'm glad we got a very long sentence and that he's going to have a very long time to think about his actions," Smith said. 

Rescuers had to cut the occupants out of one of four cars involvedin a crash in Arlington late Friday afternoon.
Rescuers had to cut the occupants out of one of four cars involvedin a crash in Arlington late Friday afternoon.

Investigators said Jefson was more than three times over the legal blood alcohol limit and going 120 mph in a 30 mph zone at the time of the crash that killed Savannah in Arlington.

Police said Jefson's car crashed into the rear of the truck Savannah was in, and the truck hit another vehicle in front of it.

Savannah died a week after the crash from blunt force trauma to the head. Eight others were injured in the crash.

Police said Jefson had a blood alcohol level of .279, three times the legal limit, and also had Xanax in his system. Investigators said he blamed others for not getting out of his way.

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In a victim impact statement given in court Savannah's sister, Kayla Pfeiffer, spoke about how her life was forever changed.

"Dear Savannah, I love and miss you... I will always miss you...I will always love you," Kayla Pfeiffer said. 

Jefson was originally set to stand trial in September, but Smith said he believed Jefson pleaded guilty because the state had such a strong case against him.

"He addressed the family and apologized for what he had done. He did show remorse which was good. I think he just didn't want to go through with the trial and entered the plea," Smith said. "It was nice to have the opportunity to really speak in open court while Mr. Jefson was standing there, watching and listening to just how his actions have truly impacted the lives of so many people in so many ways." 

Jefson had three previous arrests on DUI charges.