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Man who killed a Poway father and son, sentenced to 8 years in prison

'It is just unfathomable that this is where our lives have brought us.'
Posted at 6:26 PM, Jul 19, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-20 14:44:58-04

POWAY, Calif. (KGTV) — "It is just unfathomable that this is where our lives have brought us," says Paula Rahall.

The death of a father and son in a crash while leaving baseball practice devastated their North County community. Now, the man who caused that crash while driving high is headed to prison.

For Donald Farmer's family, his lighter sentence was a small relief. But that did not sit well with the victim's friends and family who were in the courtroom.

In February of 2021, Steve and Stephen Pirolli were leaving baseball practice when 20-year-old Donald Lee Farmer crashed into their car, killing both father and son.

Tom Pirolli Jr., Steve's older brother shared, "Those decisions changed my life forever as well as my families. Their death did not need to happen."

Farmer was found to be driving while under the influence of Xanax and marijuana, and driving with just a learner's permit. Investigators also stated that Farmer tried to lie about what happened, and tried to dispose of the drugs inside his car.

Tom Pirolli Sr., the Father of Steve, shared, "Two lives, he screwed up my family name. I mean, he was my only grandson. It's pretty significant, it's pretty significant."

Tuesday the court heard 10 victim statements from old friends, community members, and family.

"What I can't say, in the 522 days since February 12th, 2021, when two of people closest to me never made it home from baseball practice, nothing has seemed to matter," shares Stephens cousin, Olivia Pirolli.

"Yet life continues to go on at 90 mph," she furthers in the poem she wrote, "the same speed Donald Farmer was going that night."

Lorie, Steve's wife, and Stephen's mother pleaded with the judge to have Farmer be given the maximum sentence.

"My husband Steve and I will never have another wedding anniversary, or the opportunity to grow old together, and watch our son grow into a young man," says Lorie.

However, Judge Rachel Cano stated because of the law, she could not give the maximum sentence as Farmer is under the age of 26. She also cited his family history of alcoholism, and domestic abuse, contributing to his trauma and drug use.

The judge ultimately decided on an 8-year sentence.

After the sentencing, the prosecutor did say Farmer would really only be serving four years because of how long he has been in custody. Lorie did say hearing that, felt like justice had not been served.