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Fri, Nov. 22

Victim's parents ask leniency for driver

Toby Beaty and Amber Harrington

Toby Beaty and Amber Harrington

PRESCOTT- The parents of a 23-year-old woman killed in a traffic crash last January have written to prosecutors to ask for leniency for the man accused in her death.

Police said Toby Beaty, 38, struck Amber Harrington with his pickup as she rode her bicycle on White Spar Road near Copper Basin Road about 5 p.m. on Jan. 16, and dragged her about 40 feet.

Harrington was taken to the hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

Beaty was indicted by a grand jury on one count of manslaughter and two counts of DUI - one for alcohol, one for drugs.

Witnesses told police that Beaty was not driving recklessly at the time of the crash, and suggested that the position of the sun may have made visibility difficult.

Beaty told police he had been drinking sometime before the crash and had smoked marijuana 12 hours earlier. His breath test for alcohol showed negative, although he did have THC metabolite in his system.

He was not arrested until 10 months later, when he turned himself in after a grand jury indictment in September.

In a letter dated Dec. 11, Amber's parents, Rob and Tracey Harrington, said, "We do not wish more suffering for Toby - he is already in a world of suffering."

They went on to say they did not want him to be imprisoned. "Our wish is not for punishment, but for healing," the letter said.

"We wish that Toby offer his story and capacities in the service to others to prevent another tragedy," they wrote. "The only way that any good can come of this situation is if another death can be prevented."

They also suggested that Beaty work with the Prescott Alternative Transportation plan to protect other bicyclists.

"Finally, if and when Toby is ready - and when we are ready - we would wish to participate in some form of restorative justice process for our own healing and his," the letter said.

The Harringtons concluded by saying that those things could not happen "if Toby is incarcerated and locked away for years in a traumatic environment with no opportunities for healing."

"With all cases, although we are not bound by the views of the victims, we always consider them," Yavapai County Attorney Sheila Polk said. 

Follow Scott Orr on Twitter @AZNewsguy. Call him at 928-445-3333 ext. 2038 or 928-642-7705.

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