PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — After changing his plea, 27-year-old Adam Valle was sentenced to just over 7 years in prison for causing the death of 19-year-old Heaven Leigh Mathews, according to a statement released by Multnomah County District Attorney Rod Underhill on Friday.
Valle was running from police in a stolen car while under the influence of meth when he crashed the car into a pole on the night of March 9, 2019. His passenger, Mathews, was killed in the crash.
Portland police officers first attempted to pull over the car Valle was driving near SE 124th Ave and SE Sherman St around 11 p.m. on March 9 after they witnessed several traffic violations. During their attempt to pull the car over, officers also learned that the Subaru Legacy had been reported as stolen.
Valle refused to stop, and instead accelerated and drove off. Officers were unable to follow him, but continued to look for him. A short time later, police found the Subaru—it had crashed into a steel pole near SE Division St and SE 122nd Ave. Witnesses reported seeing a man limp away from the car after the crash. Police found Valle a block away from the crash.
The passenger, Mathews, was declared dead at the scene.
During the investigation, authorities learned that “Valle had likely been awake for several days with little to no sleep and that he was using methamphetamine.”
According to the DA’s statement, when paramedics told Valle that Mathews had died in the crash, he started laughing.
Mathews’ father, as well as the woman whose Subaru was stolen, submitted victim impact statements for the hearing.
“Heaven loved everyone unconditionally,” said her father Gary Mathews. “This was the worst thing to happen to our family. It has devastated us. Heaven was an incredible person. She was able to be friends to so many people. She was such a kind heart.”
The DA’s statement also mentioned that Mathews’ family expressed compassion toward Valle, and showed an interest in supporting him both during his time in custody and after.
Valle pleaded guilty to manslaughter, stealing a car, running from police, and driving under the influence of intoxicants. His 85-month prison sentence will be followed by three years of post-prison supervision. According to the DA’s statement, Valle’s driving privileges will be permanently revoked. He will also be required to pay an estimated $45,000 in restitution.
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