Court cases resolved in ATV accident that killed Tyler Rathbun

Part of the memorial to Tyler Rathbun in the Shawnee Mission East senior parking lot.
Part of the memorial to Tyler Rathbun in the Shawnee Mission East senior parking lot.

The cases against two former Shawnee Mission East students charged in connection with the accident that killed 17 year old Tyler Rathbun last year in Miami County have been completed with both teens sentenced on misdemeanor charges.

William Sutherland and Taylor Sheets were both charged by the Miami County prosecutor after the ATV accident last November 25 on the Sutherland family farm. The accident occurred around 3 a.m. near a rural Miami County road.

Sutherland was originally charged with Aggravated Endangering of a Child, a felony, and with Unlawfully Hosting Minors Consuming Alcohol, a misdemeanor. The Aggravated Endangering charge was dismissed and Sutherland pleaded no contest on the charge of Unlawfully Hosting.

Judge Steven Montgomery found Sutherland guilty and sentenced him to 18 months probation along with 100 hours of community service and a substance abuse evaluation. He also will pay a $1,000 fine and court costs, according to court records.

Sheets was 17 at the time of the accident and appeared before Montgomery in juvenile court. She was originally charged with Involuntary Manslaughter – DUI, a felony. That charge was amended to Vehicular Homicide, a misdemeanor, and she pleaded no contest, according to the court.

Sheets was given 18 months probation, had her drivers license suspended for 180 days, and was ordered to pay court costs and undergo a substance abuse evaluation.

According to the district court office in Miami County, all of the court proceedings involving Sutherland and Sheets have been completed. Sutherland was represented by attorney Rob Edmonds and the court appointed attorney Glen Sharp to represent Sheets. Miami County Attorney Elizabeth Sweeney-Reeder said the sentences were a result of plea agreements, but declined further comment.