PHOENIX, AZ (March 25, 2011) – Judge Michael Kemp today sentenced Steven Jo Landrum (DOB 9/20/1986) to spend 11 years in the Arizona Department of Corrections for causing an auto accident while driving under the influence of alcohol which resulted in the death of 18 year-old Cody Bishop. Landrum, who agreed to plead guilty to one class 2 dangerous felony count of manslaughter, was also ordered to pay restitution to the victim’s family to cover funeral and medical costs.
“This defendant’s conduct illustrates the inescapable fact that each time someone drives while impaired, they take not only their own life in their hands but they endanger the lives of everyone else on the road. Cody Bishop did not deserve to die but suffered the consequence of Landrum’s selfish decision to drink and drive,” said Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery. “My office will never hesitate in our commitment to hold accountable first-time as well as repeat felony DUI offenders to prevent them from causing further harm to the citizens of Maricopa County,” he added.
At approximately 10:14 p.m. on May 6, 2010, Landrum lost control of his vehicle while driving westbound on Ray Road at an extremely high rate of speed. He collided with Bishop’s vehicle, which had just completed a left hand turn from a dedicated left turn lane into the driveway of a shopping center. Bishop later died from subdural hemorrhages and other head trauma sustained during the impact. Landrum was extricated from his vehicle by fire personnel and treated for his injuries. Blood drawn from Landrum roughly an hour later yielded a blood alcohol limit of .204, far above the level for extreme DUI of .150. Trained accident reconstruction officers later concluded that Landrum was driving between 75-81 miles per hour, far in excess of the posted speed limit of 45 miles per hour.
In the face of overwhelming evidence, Landrum, who had no prior felony or DUI convictions, accepted a plea agreement which stipulated a prison sentence of 7-12 years. Citing multiple aggravating factors which led to the collision, the State requested that the Court impose the aggravated prison term of 12 years.