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'I Know That I Did Wrong': School Bus Driver Gets Over 3 Years For Hitting, Killing Woman In Brooklyn Park

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- A school bus driver will spend the next several years in prison for a deadly hit-and-run.

WCCO was in court as Jason Rynders offered words to the victim's heartbroken family.

It's a story nearly two years in the making. It started in March of 2020 when 45-year-old Devon Doherty's life ended. And it all came to a head Monday in a Hennepin County courtroom.

Leah Erickson was the prosecutor on the case.

"A mother and father lost their daughter," she said. "A brother, a sister; aunts and uncles, a niece; friends, their companion; and two pups, their home."

Prosecutors played a video showing Rynders driving a bus with kids on it when he hit Doherty. Another driver came to the scene and Rynders got back into his bus.

"His hands on his face, looking in the mirrors, a worried expression. He knew he was leaving Devon Dohtery," Erickson said.

As a judge decided what would happen next, a victim's advocate read words from Dohtery's family, who described her as a woman full of grace, a true giver.

Attorney Anne Burgoyne read a statement, saying: "Devon was always there for others. She poured out so much goodness that she left a lasting memory of goodness, kindness and charity to others."

Jason Rynders, an Army veteran and father of three young kids, responded with sympathy.

"To Ms. Doherty's family, I am truly sorry," he said. "I know I can never give your daughter, your loved one back. I really do wish I could. I carry Ms. Doherty with me every day. I know that I did wrong. Hindsight being 20/20, I understand that I should have stayed."

He begged the judge for leniency and probation.

Hennepin County Judge William Koch told Rynders that he indeed should have stayed at the scene.

"You should have called 911, tried to provide some assistance," the judge said.

Koch sentenced Rynders to 41 months in prison, a little more than three years. His sentence was shortened slightly because of his guilty plea. He can still file for an appeal.

Rynders' attorney asked if he could hug his wife, but Rynders was taken straight into custody.

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