Widow of man killed in crash satisfied driver took a plea deal

Rebecca Sperry (WISH Photo)

LAPEL, Ind. (WISH) – The wife of a man killed in a car crash is satisfied that the driver responsible has accepted a plea deal.

Former Edgewood Police officer James Foutch pleaded guilty to reckless homicide and criminal recklessness.

The crash happened in April 2014 just outside Lapel. Investigators said Foutch was driving when he rammed into Rebecca and Jesse Sperry. Jesse died at the scene. Rebecca, who was nine months pregnant at the time, survived and needed to have an emergency C-section. In exchange for taking the plea deal, three other charges against Foutch were dropped.

He’ll face a sentence three to eleven years. To some people that’s not enough time given the loss of life. But Sperry said she didn’t want justice to be served with vengeance. As a woman of faith, she wanted it to be served with mercy.

(Provided Photo/ Madison County Jail)
James Foutch (Provided Photo/ Madison County Jail)

It’s impossible to know what James Foutch was thinking the day his mugshot was taken, the day investigators say he rammed into a car at 90 miles per hour causing it to wrap around this pole, killing Jesse who was in the passenger seat.

But the day he entered this courthouse ready to plead to guilty to the crimes, Sperry knew he was sorry.

“It wasn’t just because he was aware of the consequences as far as prison, but he was very much aware of, you know he was at that scene, he saw what everybody else saw that was there and he lives with that because that’s what he did,” she said.

And that realization was enough for Sperry and the parents of her dead husband to know they made the right choice when they decided to skip a jury trial and move straight to a plea deal.

“Finally that deep wound is going to have a chance to scar instead of being torn back open with every hearing, with every chance of a continuance, with every appeal, with every delay,” she said.

The only step now is how much time he’ll spend behind bars. Sperry isn’t worried about that. She’s busy being a mom, her daughter Autumn now 16 months old.

“It cracks me up when people are like, oh my gosh your daughter looks so much like you and I’m like mmm no she looks like her dad,” she said with a laugh.

The smiles will come easier now with the case nearly closed and her faith will guide her and her family the rest of the way.

“God has ordained his plans and that’s what we put our trust in,” she said.

Despite the prosecution’s confidence they would win a jury trial, she is glad they understood her family’s desire to skip one.

“It really upsets me when people get so hateful towards (the prosecution). I mean they poured themselves into this case but they’re looking for our interests as well,” she said.

Foutch is scheduled to be sentenced September 17th.

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