A drunk driver, who led police on a high speed chase and collided with another vehicle, killing an 11 year-old boy, will spend 35 years to life in prison. David Glenn Wiggins, age 32, of Tempe, was found guilty last March of First Degree Murder, Aggravated Assault, Unlawful Flight and Endangerment.
His sentence includes multiple concurrent prison counts on each offense. For the First Degree Murder count, Judge Karen Potts sentenced Wiggins this week to life in prison with no possibility of release until he has served at least 35 years, minus 569 days credit for time served. She also imposed concurrent sentences of 19 years for Aggravated Assault, 1.5 years for Unlawful Flight and 2.75 years for Endangerment.
“This case was charged as First Degree Murder because that is exactly what this defendant’s actions amounted to,” said Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery. “While the life sentence imposed is just and reflects the seriousness of his actions, we are nonetheless mindful that no amount of prison time can ever replace the innocent life that was taken from this family, nor fully assuage the grief they will carry forever,” he added. “As County Attorney, I remain committed to prosecuting to the fullest extent of the law not only those who drink and drive, but those whose actions result in the death of someone in our community.”
On October 8, 2011, David Wiggins left a bar and traveled north on Alma School Road towards Warner Road. A Chandler Police Detective observed several indications of impaired driving and attempted to pull Wiggins over as he was driving eastbound and weaving within his lane on Warner. When Wiggins failed to stop, the Detective called for assistance. A marked Chandler patrol car joined the pursuit near the intersection of Warner and McQueen Road. Wiggins accelerated, ran the red light at the intersection, struck a raised median and crossed into the westbound lanes while continuing to travel eastbound. He then turned left at North Islands Drive and accelerated, reaching an estimated speed of 100 miles per hour in a residential area.
The pursuing officer, who reported travelling 80 miles per hour, eventually lost sight of Wiggins. A short while later, another officer reported hearing a crash south of her location. Wiggins had been driving westbound on Warner and ran a red light at McQueen where he crashed into a car driven by Gregory Katsaros in which his two sons were riding. 11 year-old Alexander was killed. His brother Christopher was seriously injured. The subsequent investigation determined that Wiggins was driving between 68 and 80 miles per hour in a 45 mile per hour zone at the time of the collision. His blood had an alcohol content of .213.