ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – A Belleville man pleads guilty to a New Year’s Eve 2014 drunk driving crash at Jefferson and Chouteau that killed a St. Louis man and injured a passenger, his girlfriend from Webster Groves.
Willie Green, who had fled from the scene before his arrest, entered a blind plea, allowing the judge to sentence him from three to 28 years in prison. The girlfriend, 19-year-old Emma Casey, hopes Green gets at least seven years for the crash that took the life of 20-year-old Xander Wohlstadter.
“He needs to be responsible for his actions. He took someone away from us and we’ve had to deal with so much and really accept it, so he took something away from all of at the same time,” she says.
Wohlstadter’s parents say they will leave it up to the judge to determine the sentence. His mother, Beth Lewandowski, says he was loved by many and was “changing lives”.
“And that ended with him as a tangible, living, breathing person. It’s still going on, but I just think about what if and what good he would have done to the world,” she says.
His father Michael Wohlstadter says it’s been rough.
“It feels like I’m still holding my breath, and it feels like I’m going to be in that holding pattern for the next two months. My stomach is churning and I’m going To be stressed, and I’m going to be spending a lot of time in my garden for the next two months,” he says.
The city prosecutor’s office is recommending 22 years in prison. Sentencing is set for June 23rd.