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Pueblo man sentenced for fatal drunk driving crash that killed Canon City teen

PUEBLO, Colo. (KRDO) -- A Canon City family got some closure Friday as they learned the Pueblo man responsible for killing their son while driving drunk will spend the next 18 years in prison.

The parents of Ashton Welch said they've been waiting for this day but also that harbor no ill will towards the man who took their son's life.

Eight months ago, 27-year-old Phillip Cessares rear-ended 18-year-old Ashton Welch at an intersection in Pueblo. Cessares was going almost 30 mph over the speed limit and had a blood alcohol content of almost twice the legal limit.

However on Friday, Welch's family was preaching forgiveness.

"We've never considered Mr. Cassares a monster.  And we understand from the very beginning that he didn't leave his house that day with the intent to kill our son.  And we weren't looking for vengeance today" said Asthon's father Martin Welch, who even went out of his way to thank Cassares for his apology, as he was led out of the court room, and wished him the best in the future.

The family said they want people to remember Ashton for being adventurous, creative, and kind to others, adding that he was an artist that loved to design art and clothing.

Some of his artwork will be featured in a show sponsored by one of his mentors in Cañon City. The date is still to be determined.

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