CHESTERFIELD, Va. — A former Virginia correctional officer has been sentenced to eight years in prison for killing a Midlothian father of two in an alcohol-fueled crash last year.
Matthew Pernell gave emotional testimony in court Monday before he was sentenced in the death of 46-year-old Alonza Jefferson Jr. Pernell said he would trade his life for Jefferson’s if he could.
Pernell was convicted in 2011 and in 2013 of driving under the influence. He said he tried to beat his addiction to alcohol by getting counseling and joining Alcoholics Anonymous, but ultimately began drinking again.
The 28-year-old Pernell was arrested for driving under the influence for third time in December after his pickup truck crashed head-on into Jefferson’s car in Chesterfield.