Centralia businessman sentenced to 4-years for reckless homicide

Centralia businessman sentenced to 4-years for reckless homicide

CENTRALIA — A 59-year-old Centralia businessman was sentenced Wednesday in Marion County court to 4-years in prison after he earlier pleaded guilty to a reckless homicide crash that claimed the life of an Odin man.

Thomas Joy, part-owner of the Centralia Morning Sentinel, pleaded guilty in December to a Class 3 felony of reckless homicide in exchange for a misdemeanor DUI and traffic citation being dismissed.

According to authorities, in May of last year Joy pulled his pickup truck out of an alleyway next to the Broadway Tavern in Central City into the path of 65-year-old Jerry Clarkson’s motorcycle, causing a crash that resulted in Clarkson’s death.

The defense had asked for probation, while State’s Attorney Bill Milner asked for Joy to be sentenced to 5-years in prison — the maximum available for the crime. Milner noted that Joy had lied to police about the amount he had to drink prior to the crash and claiming he had stopped before pulling out of the alleyway.

Judge Mark Stedelin gave Joy furlough until Monday, at which time he must turn himself in to the Marion County Jail to be transported to the Department of Corrections.