Man takes plea deal one year after slamming into pregnant mothe - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Man takes plea deal one year after slamming into pregnant mother, two children outside KFC Yum! Center

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Russell Mullins appears before a judge for arraignment. Russell Mullins appears before a judge for arraignment.
Shyanne leaves the hospital with her walker. Shyanne leaves the hospital with her walker.
Jayden requires a halo to help him recover from his injuries. Jayden requires a halo to help him recover from his injuries.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- It's been more than a year since a man police say was drunk drove into a pregnant mom and her two young kids outside the KFC Yum! Center.

Today, he pleaded guilty to several charges.

Russell Mullins, 64, took a plea deal at the Jefferson County Judicial Center Friday morning.

Police say Mullins was drunk when, in September 2014, he slammed into Sara Neathamer, her six-year-old daughter Shyanne, and her three-year-old son Jayden. It happened outside the KFC Yum! Center when the family was leaving a "Disney On Ice" show.

Both children were injured. 

Neathamer was pregnant at the time and delivered prematurely. She says Mullins ruined her baby's life -- and he knew it from Day One.

"He knew he was guilty from the minute he hit us," she said. "He destroyed my child's life. I feel like he should not have any life at all ever again."

As for her premature baby, Neathamer said the child is paying dearly for Mullins' crimes.

"He's not doing good," she said. "We've had two emergency brain surgeries this week, or this month. It's just day-by-day with him. You never know if one day he's not going to wake up."

Neathamer says if it wasn't for Mullins, she would have had a healthy, normal pregnancy.

"The doctors say he'll never walk, he'll never talk, he'll have Cerebral palsy," she said. "They say he'll have no quality of life at all and he was completely fine before I got ran over."

Neathamer added that she had some words for Mullins:

"I want him to know he destroyed an innocent child's life because he had to drink and drive and do drugs and it wasn't his first time, so there's no excuses," she said.

Mullins pleaded guilty to three counts of first degree assault, two counts of wanton endangerment and one count of DUI. The recommended sentence is 20 years in prison, with Mullins having to serve at least 85 percent of that time.

"I'm glad the family doesn't have to go through and come into a courtroom and talk about what happened to them," said Prosecutor Kristi Gray. "Think it's a significant sentence, especially given the defendant's age, so yes, I'm happy with the outcome."

"I'm sad," Neathamer said. "I wanted it to be over with. I wanted to put it behind me today."

Mullins' sentencing is scheduled for Dec. 7, and he is expected to give a statement.

"I know Russell is going to talk, and I'm excited to see what he has to say about what he did," Neathamer said. "And I hope it's just over after that."

Neathamer believes Russell is better off behind bars.

"If he wouldn't have hit us, next time he probably could have killed somebody," she said. "We're just very blessed that nobody died."

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