Dylan M. Lahr to be released on or after March 11.
Pennsylvania prison authorities plan to release the young man authorities said threw the rock from an overpass that seriously injured Stark County resident Sharon Budd.
The Board of Probation and Parole has granted parole to Dylan M. Lahr, 22, who was serving a sentence of 54 months to 20 years in prison. It means three of the four participants will be out of prison.
Budd, her late husband, Randy, and their daughter, Kaylee, were traveling to New York City on Interstate 80 in July 2014 when a rock crashed through the windshield and hit Sharon, who was in the front passenger seat.
The 53-year-old Lake Township woman survived but had severe injuries and endured multiple surgeries to repair her shattered skull, including the removal of part of her brain. She had been a teacher at Edison Middle School in Perry Township.
Kaylee Budd, responding to a request for comment from The Canton Repository, wrote that doing so is difficult.
"My family’s life was flipped upside down in 2014 and then it was thrown again (with the death of her father) in 2016. Incidents with outcomes like this change everything," she wrote.
"Being around the same age as the men that committed this crime makes it hard for me to understand how this type of prank could be funny ... It is hard to say how much punishment someone should get for doing such a horrible act and it is completely out of my hands."
Lahr is schedule to be released on or after March 11, when he completes the minimum of his sentence. He could remain under supervision until 2034.
The board cited Lahr’s positive behavior and completion of prescribed programs while in prison, his statement of remorse and acceptance of responsibility, a positive recommendation from the Department of Corrections and other factors in its decision.
Union County District Attorney D. Peter Johnson opposed granting Lahr parole at this point.
“I thought (parole) this soon was not appropriate,” Johnson said, “because of the serious level of the crime, the serious nature of the crime and the significant impact on the community and the significant impact on the victim” and the possibility that Lahr could still be a danger to the public.
The 5-pound rock that nearly killed Budd was thrown from an overpass by Dylan Lahr and three other young men.
The judge gave Lahr the longest sentence as the accused rock thrower. Two co-defendants, Tyler G. Porter, 22, and Keefer L. McGee, 22, have been released from custody.
Brett M. Lahr, 23, Dylan’s brother, remains in prison. He was granted parole in 2016 but returned to prison after being charged in 2017 of driving under the influence.
Sharon Budd is doing well in her recovery, according to her daughter.
"She misses my dad tremendously and tends to get into sad spells when she starts to think about her situation. However, she has a very positive attitude 80 percent of the time," Kaylee Budd wrote.
She is a different person today and requires round-the-clock care. She is able to go to lunch with friends, cook with supervision and enjoys reading.
"I heard a quote at one point stating, `The most valuable lessons aren’t taught, they’re experienced,'" Kaylee Budd wrote.
"But those men have not experienced the daily struggle and deep sadness this incident has caused my family. I can say that both of these tragic events have shaped me into the person I am today. I truly hope this shapes Dylan, Brett, Keefer, and Tyler as they continue on with their lives."
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