Driver in fatal March hit-and-run sentenced

James Richard O'Reilly
Courtesy of Alachua County Jail James Richard O’Reilly

The driver who hit and killed a UF student in March was sentenced to 8-and-a-half years in state prison on Thursday.  

James Richard O’Reilly, 20, pleaded nolo contendere—meaning he accepted the sentence but did not admit guilt—to DUI manslaughter, DUI with damage to property or injury, and failing to remain at the scene of a crash involving injury.  

O’Reilly’s jail sentence will be followed by 10 years of drug offender probation. Judge James Colaw also permanently revoked O’Reilly’s driver’s license. 

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On March 17, an O’Reilly, 20, left the roadway in the 3600 block of SW 34th Street where he struck and killed 21-year-old UF student Prateek Sharma. He fled the scene but was located and arrested. 

According to the Alachua Chronicle, the minimum sentence for two of the charges is 12 years in prison, and the State Attorney’s Office recommended 15 years. O’Reilly’s lawyer successfully argued for less time due to O’Reilly’s age, history of mental illness and other factors. 

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MCB

He should’ve got way more than 8 years……are you kidding me. What if that was your son that was run down by a drunk.