Student pleads guilty in cyclist fatal

August 21, 2008 4:24:31 PM PDT
Former NC State student Brian Reid pleaded guilty Thursday to hitting and killing bicyclist Nancy Leidy in April.It happened on April 23 --Reid's 21st birthday-- his attorney says Reid had a lot to drink the night before.

Thursday during a court hearing, Judge Don Stephens took into account the wishes of Nancy Leidy's husband.

"I think this kid can do more good than sitting in jail," victim's husband, Ross Leidy said.

However, Reid was not able to escape at least some jail time.

"He'll serve five weekends in jail," Wake Superior Court Judge Donald Stephens said.

Judge Stephens is known for being tough and likely would have given Reid much more jail time had it not been for Ross Leidy.

Leidy said part of him wanted Reid to go to jail for killing his wife who had touched so many people, who traveled from across the nation to attend her funeral.

But Leidy also told the judge that as a young man he too had driven drunk. He, however, never ran over a bicyclist like Reid did.

Reid said he apparently thought he had slept off his 21st birthday binge when he headed to class at NC State, but he hadn't.

Judge Stephens gave Reid an opportunity to explain why he shouldn't have the book thrown at him.

"I thought I was being responsible that night and I thought I was doing the right thing the next but apparently I wasn't," Reid said.

Before the hearing and during a break, Reid's parents had a chance to speak with Leidy.

It wasn't until it was all over that Reid himself got the thank the husband of the woman he killed --the man who spared him many months in prison and instead got him three years of probation, 400 hours of community service and a lecture from the judge.

The 400 hours of community service will also include100 speeches at area high schools.


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