Posted: May 1, 2012 11:01 AM by KXLF Media Center with Jamie Leary reporting
Updated: May 2, 2012 10:21 AM
A man serving a 10-year prison sentence for a fatal hit and run crash that killed 14-year-old Mariah McCarthy in Butte has been granted parole after about three years behind bars.
Wade Petersen, 24, was granted parole last Wednesday, April 25 in Helena, according to Julie Thomas, Senior Parole Board Analyst.
Petersen is currently serving time in the Helena Pre-Release center and must complete his time at the treatment facility before he is officially released. The Helena Pre-Release Center has a six-month minimum requirement. Petersen has been a resident there since January.
Thompson says once paroled, Petersen will have standard conditions of parole such as residence reporting in additional terms set by the board specific to Peterson. Some of those terms include regular chemical dependency counseling, enhanced supervision, no alcohol or bars and no driving.
Petersen is also restricted from Silver Bow County.
Mariah's father, Leo McCarthy, said he doesn't believe the time he served is equal to the life of his 14-year old daughter.
"He owes me and my family to live a good life. He owes the people of Butte to be a better person," Leo McCarthy said.
"I gave the parole board a copy of Mariah's death certificate and a copy of the organ donor form from when we donated Mariah's organs to other people and a picture of Mariah on a gurney, and I wanted them to give them to him to make sure that he knows he is an author of that certificate. Every day he wakes up, he should try to be a better person," he said.
Petersen was drunk the night he drove into a group of three girls, killing Mariah McCarthy and injuring her two friends. The crash happened in 2007 on Blacktail Lane in Butte.
Petersen was sentenced to 20 years in the Montana State Prison with 10 years suspended.
He was denied parole once before in March 2010. At the time he asked Judge Brad Newman to be released from his sentence. At the time that it was denied, Newman wrote in an order, "Defendant appears to be merely going through the motions. Defendant has demonstrated little initiative to better prepare himself for a return to the community."