Ex-WWE wrestler Tammy Sytch, famously recognized in the ring as Sunny, was sentenced on November 27, 2023, to 17 years in prison for her involvement in a fatal car crash in Daytona Beach, Florida.
The incident, which occurred in March 2022, resulted in the death of 75-year-old Julian LaFrancis Lasseter.
Sytch, 50, was found to have been driving under the influence (DUI) at the time of the crash. Her blood-alcohol content was reported to be between 0.32 and 0.36, significantly higher than the legal limit. The Daytona Beach News-Journal revealed that this was not Sytch’s first offense, as she had a history of at least six prior DUI offenses.
During the legal proceedings, it was disclosed that Sytch entered a no-contest plea for DUI manslaughter, along with four counts of DUI causing injury to a person and two counts of DUI causing property damage. These accusations originated from the 2022 event where Sytch’s vehicle crashed into Lasseter’s car, which was halted at a traffic signal. Lasseter died from the injuries sustained in the collision’s impact.
Prosecutors in the case had initially sought a maximum penalty of 26 years, citing Sytch’s repeated offenses and describing her as a “danger to society.” However, the judge ultimately decided on a 17-year sentence, which includes an additional eight years of probation following her prison term.
During her sentencing, Sytch expressed remorse for her actions and the loss of life. She addressed the court and Lasseter’s family, stating her willingness to switch places with the victim if possible and acknowledging the gravity of her actions. Despite this, she appealed for leniency in her sentencing.
Sytch, a native of New Jersey, joined the WWE in 1995 and quickly rose to fame, becoming one of the most iconic figures and widely regarded as the first WWE Diva. Her induction into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2011 marked a significant milestone in her career.