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Driver in hit-and-run death of DPW employee gets 12 years in prison

Posted at 1:33 PM, Jun 13, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-13 19:01:46-04

MILWAUKEE — Terron Clayborn, the driver in the hit-and-run death of a Department of Public Works employee who was filling potholes Feb. 8, was sentenced to 12 years in prison Thursday in Milwaukee County Circuit Court.

Bryan Rodriguez was filling potholes near 17th and Vine when he was pinned between the truck and a car driven by Clayborn.

At his sentencing Thursday, Clayborn also was given 11 years of extended supervision once he is released from prison.

“I’m very sorry to the family. I take full responsibility. I didn’t mean for this to happen,” Clayborn said Thursday in court. “I freaked out. I got scared. I am sorry.”

"A good man was taken from a family because of a coward like you ... and your family for the rest of their life will remember you killed an innocent man," a family spokesperson said in a statement to the court.

Clayborn originally was chargedwith a count of hit-and-run resulting in death as well as operating a vehicle with a suspended license before he reached a plea deal May 1. He was on the run from police for nearly two weeks before he was arrested.

“I’m very sorry to the family. I take full responsibility. I didn’t mean for this to happen. I freaked out. I got scared. I am sorry.” —Terron Clayborn

Clayborn told the judge he knew he was not supposed to be driving, but he was trying to help a friend. Judge Wagner recognized the act as gracious but was not moved, telling Clayborn he knowingly broke the law.

In this case, people close to Rodriguez said no one wins.

"This sentence is what it is. It's not about satisfaction; it's just getting some sort of closure. Again, the guy had kids, now the kids are going to be without a father. She's without a husband. It's no good for anybody," said Frank, a spokesperson for the Rodriguez family.

"Every time I see a public works worker or a guy riding a bike because me and Brian used to ride together remind me of my best friend, but it's not gonna bring him back," said James Byrd, who grew up with Rodriguez.