Man's family reacts to killer's sentencing

Family Reacts to Man Sentenced in Coach's Death
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)

(KAIT) - The children of Coach Jim Austin want the man who killed their father to turn his life around after learning of his sentencing.

Blaine Austin, Jim Austin's son, said what happened to his father affected more than just his family.

He said it affected all of the kids in Northeast Arkansas who looked up to him as a coach.

Robin Austin Minton said she is relieved to know Bruce Stevens is off the streets and in prison.

She said the family agreed to a plea deal that gave Stevens six years in jail.

The family was given the opportunity to write a victim impact statement to Stevens.

Minton said she tried but was unable to finish because she got too emotional.

Her sister, Kippi Halfin, did write one and Minton said she had this to say to Stevens.

"She said 'I could have a lot of hate for you but I'm not going to cause that's not being a Christian,'" Minton said. "But she said 'I hope you take the time to learn who Jim Austin was and all the kindness he gave to everybody and pay it forward.'"

Like her brother, Minton also wants Stevens to turn his life around.

She said she still has moments where she cannot help but get emotional.

"I'm just now learning to hear a couple of songs and get through it without breaking down," Minton said. "I walk through a grocery store and see a box of candy that he loved and it gets you."

Minton said they will now wait until Stevens is up for parole and attend his hearing.

She said she wanted Stevens to spend at least three years in prison.

Minton advised everyone to not drive while under the influence of anything and that a one-second mistake could cost you everything.

Copyright 2016 KAIT. All rights reserved.

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