Man sentenced for 2013 crash that killed 12-year-old Columbia girl

2 years 9 months 2 weeks ago Monday, December 07 2015 Dec 7, 2015 Monday, December 07, 2015 10:58:00 PM CST December 07, 2015 in News
By: Rose Schmidt, KOMU 8 Digital Producer

AUDRAIN COUNTY - An Audrain County judge sentenced a man to seven years in prison for a 2013 crash that killed a Columbia girl, according to Audrain County Prosecuting Attorney Jacob Shellabarger.

Circuit Judge Wesley C. Dalton sentenced Aaron Wormington, 35, of Centralia for a crash on Nov. 23, 2013, that killed 12-year-old Jade Stafford. 

The judge sentenced Wormington to the maximum sentence of seven years.

“Aaron Wormington’s refusal to accept responsibility for his actions, show any remorse, or take any accountability meant he should be punished with the maximum sentence,”
Shellabarger said.

Shellabarger said during the sentencing hearing, Wormington "never said he was sorry for what happened, and continued to blame Jade Stafford, and the other driver, for what happened, even after the evidence clearly and convincingly show that he was at fault."

"He continued to argue that everyone else but himself was responsible – that it didn’t matter how fast he was driving in the wrong lane of traffic that it was the other driver’s fault the crash occurred,” Shellabarger said.

After a three-day trial, an Audrain County jury found Wormington guilty on Oct. 20 of involuntary manslaughter in the first degree for the Audrain County crash.

The crash happened on Nov. 23, 2013, at about 10 p.m. in Mexico on Commerce Road, near the Missouri Plant Sciences Center. Stafford was a passenger in the car Wormington was driving.

According to Shellabarger, Wormington attempted to pass a truck going more than 75 miles per hour, but he ended up crashing into the truck. The car then went into a ditch and turned over, landing on the passenger's side, which was where Stafford was sitting. The 12-year-old reportedly died instantly.

Wormington intends to appeal the conviction, according to Shellabarger. Following the sentencing, Wormington was in the Audrain County Jail on a $25,000 cash only bond pending
appeal.

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