3 sisters killed, brother to serve less than 2 years

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POWHATAN COUNTY, Va. (WTVR) – The man who killed his three sisters in a drunk driving crash earlier this year will spend less than two years in prison. A Powhatan judge sentenced Jerry Middleton, 53, to 20 years behind bars, but suspended all but 22 months of the sentence.

The sentence was part of a plea deal which resulted in Middleton pleading guilty to three counts of felony manslaughter.

Middleton, once a top-ranking officer at the Richmond City Jail, crashed his car on Route 60 in Powhatan County back in May. Alcohol played a role in the crash, police said.

Middleton’s sisters, 62-year-old Joan V. Middleton, 70–year-old Thelma Middleton and 73-year-old Shirley M. Smothers were killed in the crash. All three women lived in Richmond and were returning to metro-Richmond after a family function in Buckingham County, Mark Holmberg reported at the time.