Man gets 12 years in motorcyclist’s death in west Fort Worth

A 24-year-old man with multiple convictions involving alcohol was sentenced on Thursday to 12 years in prison for driving drunk and then slamming into a 71-year-old motorcyclist, killing him.

Seth Donnelly pleaded guilty on Tuesday to an intoxication manslaughter charge in state District Judge Louis Sturns’s court. A jury then heard the punishment case and returned the sentence on Thursday.

Donnelly’s record includes a conviction for driving while intoxicated and six public intoxication convictions, a news release from the Tarrant County district attorney’s office said.

About 6:30 p.m. Oct. 3, 2012, a police officer saw Donnelly driving a pickup recklessly on the Benbrook traffic circle in west Fort Worth and nearly causing a wreck, the release said.

The officer pursued Donnelly with his lights and sirens on. Donnelly tried to evade the officer, weaving in and out of traffic until he ran a red light at Alta Mere Drive and Calmont Avenue. He was going about 90 mph when he slammed into motorcyclist Richard Franklin Lynn, a crash recorded by a red-light camera.

Lynn had purchased a Honda Goldwing motorcycle a month earlier for his 71st birthday. He was killed instantly.

Donnelly kept driving with the motorcycle lodged in the front of his pickup.

Eventually he stopped and tried to escape on foot, scaling a chain-link fence in the median, the release said. The officer caught Donnelly, who resisted the officer’s attempts to stop him and emergency medical personnel attempts to render first aid.

Donnelly finally surrendered but struggled while the officer was putting him in handcuffs. “I noticed a strong odor of alcohol,” the officer wrote, adding that Donnelly “never made any comments or showed remorse for his actions.”

Donnelly’s blood alcohol level was 0.25, more than three times the legal limit, according to the release.

Donnelly’s convictions for public intoxication were in Tarrant, Hood, Harris and Montgomery counties.

This includes material from Star-Telegram archives.