Shortly after 13-year-old Baylor Stout died in a rollover crash near Birdseye last summer, his uncle wrote a song on the guitar in his honor.
With permission from the 4th District Court judge, Jesse Stout played and sang the song on Friday during the sentencing for a Fairview woman who caused the crash.
“I’ll be your strength, I’ll be your song. I’ll be your faith when all seems wrong,” Jesse Stout sang, his voice breaking at times. “I’ll be there beside you, enlighten your mind to guide you, hold you up through every loss.”
Kali Hardman, 31, of Herriman, wept as she listened to the song and the statements from Baylor’s family members and friends.
She pleaded guilty in March to driving negligently causing death, a third-degree felony, and driving without insurance, a class C misdemeanor.
“I’m so sorry. I never meant to hurt anybody,” Hardman said. “I hope that whatever the outcome is today that Baylor’s family finds closure.”
Investigators determined that Hardman was driving drowsy and impaired from marijuana on the morning of July 22 when she drifted into an oncoming lane and crashed into a pickup with Baylor Stout and his father, Marty Stout.
Baylor, of West Jordan, died soon after being transported to the hospital, and his father and Hardman suffered serious injuries.
“This is an incredibly grave and serious offense,” Judge Kraig Powell said. “Drowsy driving is more frightening to me than any other type of bad driving.”
He suspended a prison sentence for the two charges and ordered Hardman to serve seven months in the Utah County Jail and three years on probation.
“We feel like the judge was very considerate of our family and the circumstances,” said Marty Stout. “We’re also grateful that it gives her an opportunity to meet the requirements of the law and make a positive impact.”
At the request of the Stout family, the judge also ordered Hardman to serve 90 hours of community service at Camp Valor, a summer camp in Tooele sponsored by the Utah Hemophilia Foundation.
Family members said attending the summer camp was the highlight of Baylor’s summers.
“He had many good friends and many good counselors who cared about him,” Marty Stout said. “I think Baylor would be pleased that part of the sentence will further the mission of the Utah Hemophilia Foundation.”
During probation, Hardman will also spend 40 hours at local schools talking to students about the dangers of driving while drowsy or impaired.
“If something positive can come out of this and Baylor’s life can impact others, we can try to find some good in it and try to move forward,” said Baylor’s mother, Staci Stout.
She recounted how Baylor enjoyed drawing, playing video games and discussing movies with his brothers. He would often tell jokes at the dinner table and hoped to attend Brigham Young University.
“Baylor made those around him want to be better and he inspired me with his kindness and caring and compassion,” Marty Stout said.
Two neighbors close to the family also spoke at the sentencing, including Megan Moffat, who said Baylor was outstanding, kind, thoughtful and a best friend to everyone.
“I could only hope that this event and these consequences change her behavior,” Moffat said. “Baylor, his family, his friends and everyone who loved him get no such second chance.”