A Midvale man will spend up to five years in prison for striking and killing a jogger with his vehicle after a night of drinking in May.

Robert James Longaker, 26, wept while asking for forgiveness from the victim's husband and sister during his sentencing Wednesday.In July, Longaker pleaded guilty to automobile homicide, a third-degree felony, in the May 24 auto-pedestrian accident that killed Leslie A. Stephens, 47.

"I want you guys to know how sorry I am that I took your wife and sister. I'll regret it every day for the rest of my life," Longaker said.

During the court hearing, 3rd District Judge Douglas Cornaby said Longaker has maintained that drinking and using methamphetamine the night before the accident did not play a role in the crash. Instead, Longaker blames his lack of sleep.

"Certainly one of the things a person can expect when they are drinking late at night is that they are going to be tired," Cornaby said.

However, Cornaby believes Longaker, who has used drugs regularly since he was 11, is "in denial that the drugs and alcohol had anything to do with" the crash.

"He must learn to recognize that they most assuredly had something to do with it," Cornaby said.

According to the charging documents, Longaker was driving a southbound Jeep in the northbound lanes of 900 East near 7355 South when the Jeep continued onto the sidewalk at full speed, striking Stephens head-on. Stephens had been jogging with her husband.

After the crash, Longaker got out of the Jeep and ran to his father's nearby apartment, where police found him minutes later. Stephens died at University Hospital of internal bleeding caused by blunt force trauma to her abdomen and head.

Longaker had a 0.065 alcohol level about an hour after the accident, Cornaby said. Longaker had smoked methamphetamine about 9 p.m. the night before and had been drinking at a bar until about 1 a.m.

The next morning, on the way to work, Longaker told police he had trouble staying awake and "turned up the radio and rolled down the window" but then "heard glass and screaming," the charges state.

Longaker had been originally charged with automobile homicide, a second-degree felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison, and failure to stop at the scene of an injury accident, a Class A mis-demeanor.

Stephens' husband, Richard Stephens, told Cornaby during the sentencing that he does not want "retribution" but asked that Longaker receive both appropriate punishment and treatment.

The victim's sister, Marian Graves, who is employed as a 3rd District Court clerk, said Leslie Stephens had retired as a 20-year public school teacher and administrator and will be remembered best for her outgoing, strong personality.