Man sentenced to prison in 2007 death of county employee - KLTV.com-Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville, Texas | ETX News

Man sentenced to prison in 2007 death of county employee

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Ronald McGrath stands before Judge Kerry Russell. (Source: KLTV staff) Ronald McGrath stands before Judge Kerry Russell. (Source: KLTV staff)
TYLER, TX (KLTV) -

A Smith County man, who received probation in the death of a county road and bridge employee, had his probation revoked Friday. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

In 2007, 20-year-old Ronald McGrath pleaded guilty to intoxication manslaughter in the death of 59-year-old Cleveland Matthews. Matthews was on his way to work, just before 7 a.m., when he was killed in a head-on crash. McGrath's blood-alcohol level was nearly three times the legal limit.

In 2008, McGrath elected to have a jury sentence him. The jury sentenced McGrath to 10 years probation.

In court Friday, attorneys said McGrath's probation was being revoked because of a recent DWI in Nacogdoches County. Attorneys said McGrath would plead guilty to that case for a five year sentence.

"I have to suppose you have forgotten about that wreck because if you had not forgotten I do not think you would be here today, but I could be wrong," said Judge Kerry Russell. The judge said the severity of the wreck was possibly the worst he has ever seen in his time on the bench.

"Ten years goes by fast. In not that long you'll be back out... back on the street," Judge Russell told McGrath.

Judge Russell asked McGrath to turn around and look at the five people in the courtroom. Those five people came to support McGrath.

"I would hope that you love them enough not to put them through something like this in the future," Judge Russell said.

McGrath was escorted out of the courtroom by sheriff's deputies. He will receive credit for time already served this year.

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