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Driver convicted in teen's death released from prison


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LEXINGTON, Ky. -- A man who was sentenced to five years in prison for a crash that killed a Park City teen attending the University of Kentucky has been released from prison after serving two and a half years.

The parents of the victim, 18-year-old Connie Blount, are stunned and prosecutors are exasperated at the release of Shannon D. Houser, 40.

Blount's parents became aware Houser was out of prison when he petitioned Fayette Circuit Court to regain possession of his pickup truck. Police impounded it after the March 2009 hit-and-run crash that killed Blount.


We find the whole thing quite offensive and quite disheartening.

–Jack Blount


Blount's father, Jack Blount, said, "We were not notified that he was even trying to get out."

"We were quite blindsided by his early release," he told Kentucky.com. "We find the whole thing quite offensive and quite disheartening."

Fayette Commonwealth's Attorney Ray Larson called Houser's release after serving half of his prison time for tampering with physical evidence and leaving the scene of an accident "the dirty little secret" that the sentence imposed bears little resemblance to time served, according to the Lexington Herald-Leader.

Department of Corrections spokeswoman Lisa Lamb said Houser's release on Sept. 1 wasn't a parole board or department decision, but was required by statute.

In 1993, Houser pleaded guilty to reckless homicide after crashing his truck into a concrete wall. That wreck resulted in the death of his passenger.

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Written with contributions from Randall Jeppesen and The Associated Press.

The man was released from a prison in Kentucky.

He was serving a sentence for a hit and run that killed Utah freshman Connie Blount who was studying at the University of Kentucky was released from a prison in Kentucky. In 2009, a jury sentenced Shannon Houser to five years in prison for tampering with evidence and leaving the scene of an accident.

He was released on Sept. 1 after serving half that time.

"We were shocked, frustrated, disheartened," said the girl's father, Jack Blount.

When Houser got out of a Kentucky prison two months ago, his release was so quiet, even Connie's family had no idea it had happened until yesterday.

"We were called by the press in Lexington because they were called when he tried to get his car released from the impound," Blount said.

Houser was driving that vehicle in 2008, when he hit and killed Connie, a graduate of Park City High School. At the time, she was a freshman at the University of Kentucky. After the crash, Houser left the scene and changed the grill of his truck to hide the evidence.

"So this wasn't an accident in any definition," Blount said. This was known and tried to be hidden. That's a horrendous criminal offense in my opinion."

After his arrest, a jury gave Houser a five year sentence --the maximum for tampering with evidence.

"We did not feel the five year sentence was sufficient for murdering our daughter," Blount said.

In prison, Houser got credit for good behavior and completed the required amount by law. Houser told KSL's NBC affiliate in Lexington, Kentucky that he's done everything the justice system asked of him. He said he just wants his life back. But Blount said that's not good enough because his daughter will never get that chance.

"She's not getting to finish her college, start her own career, start a family, get married, have children, do all the things you look forward to we you raise children," Blount said.

The hit and run is Houser's second vehicle-related fatality. In 1993, he pleaded guilty to reckless homicide after crashing a car that killed his friend. Connie's father asid Houser should never get behind the wheel of a car again.

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Randall Jeppesen and The Associated Press

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