Orlando Sentinel, FL
December 28, 2005
TAVARES -- A 19-year-old man who confessed on his Weblog to causing a crash that fatally injured his friend was sentenced today to five years in prison.
Blake Ranking pleaded guilty Dec. 19 to DUI manslaughter. Ranking was accused of grabbing the steering wheel from the back seat and sending the car into a concrete culvert on Oct. 4, 2004. Jason Coker, 17, was killed in the accident. Another passenger, Nicole Robinette, then 17, was seriously injured.
As part of the plea, Circuit Judge Mark Hill also imposed a sentence of 10 years' probation and a permanent license suspension.
"I think it's sad for both families," Hill said, referring to the Coker and Ranking families, after the sentencing. "The five-year sentence is bad enough, but to know he lost a best friend is something he'll have to live with the rest of his life."