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Legendary Female Wrestler Tammy Sytch Sentenced To 17 Years In Prison For Fatal Drunk-Drive And Hit Case



Legendary Female Wrestler Tammy Sytch Sentenced To 17 Years In Prison For Fatal Drunk-Drive And Hit Case

In a shocking turn of events, wrestling legend Tammy Sytch, also known as “Sunny” in the ring, has been handed a 17-year prison sentence for her involvement in a fatal drunk-driving incident that claimed the life of 75-year-old Julian Lasseter. The sentencing occurred in a Volusia County courtroom, marking the culmination of a case that has gripped the wrestling community and beyond.

The Tragic Incident

The incident took place on March 25, 2022, when Sytch, 50, was behind the wheel of a sedan that collided with Lasseter’s vehicle at a red light in Ormond Beach. Lasseter succumbed to his injuries, and the chain reaction from the crash affected yet another vehicle. Sytch’s blood-alcohol content was found to be between 0.32 and 0.36, a staggering four times the legal limit, just under an hour after the collision. The court also noted signs of marijuana use in her bloodstream.

Incident DateMarch 25, 2022
LocationOrmond Beach, Florida
FatalitiesJulian Lasseter (75 years old)
Blood-Alcohol Content0.32 to 0.36 (four times legal limit)
Other Substance UseSigns of marijuana in bloodstream

Legal Proceedings and Sentencing

Sytch, who had initially pleaded not guilty to the eight charges pressed against her, including DUI manslaughter, eventually changed her plea to no contest in August 2022. The prosecution, led by Assistant State Attorney Ashley Terwilliger, argued vehemently for the maximum penalty of 25 years, labeling Sytch as “a danger to society” due to repeated offenses.

Circuit Judge Karen Foxman, presiding over the case, adjudicated Sytch guilty and sentenced her to 17 years in prison, followed by eight years of probation. This decision came despite arguments from Sytch’s defense, which highlighted her mental health issues as a factor warranting a more lenient sentence.

Legal ProceedingsChanged plea to no contest in August 2022
Prosecution’s StandMaximum penalty of 25 years in prison
Sentencing17 years in prison, 8 years probation
Defense ArgumentMental health issues warranting leniency

Sytch’s Emotional Apology and Plea for Redemption

During the lengthy hearing, Sytch, clad in an orange jumpsuit and shackles, addressed the court, breaking down in tears as she apologized for her actions. She acknowledged the gravity of her mistakes and expressed remorse to Lasseter’s grieving family, stating, “I know my words are not enough, but please know that I think about you every day.” Despite her plea for a second chance, the court stood firm on the severity of the case, citing the egregious facts and Sytch’s admission of drinking vodka before the crash.

Background and Previous Incidents

Sytch’s troubled past, including the loss of her fiancé, former pro-wrestler Chris Candido, and her father, was presented in court as part of her defense. The defense argued that these traumatic events, coupled with a history of abusive relationships, contributed to Sytch’s reliance on alcohol as a form of self-medication. Psychologist John Fabian testified to Sytch’s struggles with depression, signs of bipolar disorder, and impaired executive function in her brain.

Victim Impact Statements

The emotional weight of the proceedings was heightened as members of Lasseter’s family shared their grief and memories of the beloved 75-year-old. Lasseter’s daughter, Whitney Lasseter Hill, painted a poignant picture of her father’s positivity, love for life, and commitment to helping others overcome addiction through recovery houses and charitable work.

5 Facts related to the Tammy Sytch

  1. Wrestling Icon: “Sunny,” a wrestling legend inducted into WWE Hall of Fame in 2011, left an enduring mark.
  2. Personal Tragedies: Sytch faced a tragic downfall after the death of fiancé Chris Candido in 2005.
  3. Legal Issues: With at least six prior arrests, Sytch’s history of impaired driving contributed to her sentence.
  4. Mental Health Struggles: Coping with depression and bipolar signs, Sytch turned to alcohol as self-medication.
  5. Community Impact: Victim impact statements revealed the profound loss of a community figure, amplifying the tragedy’s reach.


As Tammy Sytch faces a lengthy prison term and the wrestling community grapples with the fall of one of its legends, this case serves as a stark reminder of the devastating consequences of drunk driving. The legal system has spoken, emphasizing the need for accountability and justice in the face of such tragic events. Sytch’s sentencing, coupled with the heart-wrenching impact statements from Lasseter’s family, underscores the importance of responsible choices and the far-reaching consequences when those choices go awry.


Why was Tammy Sytch sentenced to 17 years in prison?

Tammy Sytch, also known as “Sunny,” received a 17-year prison sentence for her involvement in a fatal drunk-driving incident that took the life of 75-year-old Julian Lasseter. The court deemed her actions as egregious, leading to a conviction for DUI manslaughter among other charges.

2. What were the key factors in Tammy Sytch’s sentencing decision?

The court considered Sytch’s repeated legal troubles, a pattern of impaired driving, and the severity of the fatal crash. Despite pleas for leniency based on mental health issues, the judge maintained a firm stance on accountability.

3. How did Tammy Sytch’s personal history impact the court proceedings?

Sytch’s defense highlighted her troubled past, including the loss of her fiancé and struggles with mental health. While this information provided context, the court ultimately prioritized the consequences of her actions in the fatal incident.

4. What were the victim impact statements in Tammy Sytch’s case?

Members of Julian Lasseter’s family shared emotional testimonies during the sentencing, depicting the positive contributions of the 75-year-old. These statements emphasized the profound impact of the tragedy on the victim’s family and community.

5. How did Tammy Sytch’s wrestling legacy factor into the court proceedings?

As a wrestling icon and WWE Hall of Famer, Sytch’s legacy was acknowledged, but the court primarily focused on the details of the fatal incident and her subsequent legal issues. The wrestling community, however, has been affected by the fall of one of its legends.

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