TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) – The teen who was driving during the crash that killed 17-year-old Jenna Perrelle appeared in court Thursday morning where he admitted to reckless homicide and criminal recklessness.
While Bryce Switzer-Couthen was charged as a juvenile, his case was made public.
The 16-year-old was originally charged with reckless homicide, two counts of criminal recklessness and one count of reckless driving following an accident that killed Terre Haute South student Jenna Perrelle in February.
As part of his admission, both sides agreed to sentencing that was carried out Thursday.
Switzer-Couthen was sentenced to 300 days in the Indiana Department of Corrections for each count, with the sentences to be served concurrently. He will also be on probation until he reaches the age of 19 and will have his license suspended for four years. He is to have no contact with the Perrelle family.
He will be given credit for 104 days time served in juvenile detention.
During Thursday’s plea hearing, a family friend of the Perrelles, Jenna Perrelle’s cousin/best friend, a mother of the other girl in the accident and Bryce Switzer-Couthen’s mother all had and opportunity to speak.
Following the hearing, the prosecutor’s office released a statement.
There are many considerations that come into play in a case like this. The fact that a person was killed is always a primary consideration. There is nothing that the criminal justice system can do to lessen the impact felt by the friends and family of a victim, but we want to do all we can to not further victimize people. Additional consideration must be given to what sentencing options are available in the juvenile system and the adult system, and what the likely outcome would be in each.”– Terry R. Modesitt, Vigo County prosecutor