(01/07/13) - It's life in prison for the Detroit man convicted of hitting and killing 13-year-old Misty Kurmas in Flint.
Mark Blount was fleeing from police.
Misty was crossing the street on her way to church, early in the evening, in September of 2011.
We heard from her family, during Blount's sentencing, Monday morning.
"I've never understood fully how the actions of a stranger could impact my world forever until you drove into my life that day," says Teasha Laporte.
Misty's family members struggled through tears.
"I'm here today to tell you who Misty Dawn was and what you have done to our family," Laporte says. "She was a beautiful little girl with a heart of gold. She had celebrated her 13th birthday less than one month before you took her away from us."
Misty had been crossing Saginaw near Tobias with her brother and cousin on her way to church - somewhere she went three or more times a week, her family says.
"She left the house going to church that day. No one would have ever known that she was truly going home to be with the lord," Laporte says.
Blount, fleeing from police and traveling freeway speeds in a busy, residential area, struck Misty. He was in the wrong lane and driving without a license and with marijuana in his system, prosecutors say.
Blount, also in tears, apologized.
"I know my apology will never heal the pain she must feel, but I truly am sorry. I never meant for none of this to happen," Blount says.
He had previously pleaded no contest to involuntary manslaughter and operating a vehicle without a license causing death.
Genesee County Circuit Court Judge Archie Hayman sentenced Blount, 29, to life in prison.
"Today is not your judgment day. Today is only your punishment day," Laporte says. "I forgive you for Misty. I forgive you for our family because that's the only thing that's going to help us heal."
Blount was wanted on federal heroin distribution charges when police tried to stop him.
He was sentenced as a habitual offender.
Hayman says Blount had four prior felonies, eight misdemeanors and a juvenile record as well.
ABC12 Main Station