A 33-year-old driver who was intoxicated when he struck two 15-year-old girls on an Anchorage sidewalk in 2013 was sentenced to 32 years in prison Friday.

Stacey Graham pleaded guilty to two counts of second-degree murder back in October. Judge Kevin Saxby handed down a sentence of 20 years for each count with four years suspended for both. He will also face five years of probation upon his release.

Graham was facing a sentence between 26 and 40 years as part of a plea deal. The state asked Saxby to give the maximum of 40 years to send the message that drunk driving won’t be tolerated.

Saxby said he had to consider other factors, including sentences given for similar crimes. Even the lowest possible time, 26 years, would have been a record sentence. Graham had no prior criminal record, was remorseful and has a high likelihood of rehabilitation, said Saxby, adding that he believed Graham wanted to be a voice for sobriety.

In August 2013, Graham drank alcohol at a company golf tournament and at a friend’s home. He then left the friend’s residence and was seen speeding east on Dimond Boulevard near the Old Seward Highway, according to prosecutors. As he came around a curve, he hit a puddle of water, which caused his truck to hydroplane and slide sideways.

When his pickup regained traction it hit a curb. Jordyn Durr and Brooke McPheters — who were shopping at the mall for school clothes before walking home — were struck and died at the scene.

Graham could be considered for parole after 20 years.

–Check back for updates on this developing story. 

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