The sentencing was handed down in Johnson County District Court for Bradley E. Woodworth, who pleaded guilty to two charges of reckless second-degree murder for his role in the crash. He was sentenced to 117 months in prison on each count, to run consecutively for a total of 234 months, or 19 and a half years.
Over 50 of Bloskey’s friends and family filled two courtrooms in Johnson County District Court to push the judge to hand down a longer sentence than what prosecutors asked for in a plea agreement. The plea deal would have allowed Woodworth to serve both his sentences concurrently, making his prison time less than 10 years.
Bloskey’s family and friends said that wasn’t enough.
Twenty family members and friends made statements in court, describing Bloskey as a fun-loving young man who made everyone smile and feel included. Others in the courtroom cried as speakers recounted memories of Bloskey spending time on the family ranch and making friends and family laugh at every outing. They lamented the milestones he’d miss out on, for himself and his loved ones.
Bloskey did nothing wrong while driving home to prepare for the Rockhurst High School homecoming dance that night in October 2018, they said, and Woodworth deserved the longest possible sentence for taking two lives and fleeing the scene.
“You left my son, my beautiful Matthew William, to die alone in his unrecognizable car in the middle of 151st Street,” Sally Bloskey, Matthew Bloskey’s mother, said to Woodworth. “Who does this?”
Another westbound vehicle, a white Suzuki Vitara driven by Bloskey, struck the Avalon on its passenger side, killing both young men.
After the crash, Woodworth allegedly fled the scene. He was arrested about a week later.
‘Beyond just reckless’
In his statement, Woodworth apologized for his actions and said he couldn’t explain why he had driven recklessly that day. He and his lawyer pointed out that he had spent time in therapy since then.
Judge Thomas Kelly Ryan said he didn’t understand why Woodworth couldn’t find a way to apologize or express remorse to the victims’ families until the day of his sentencing. While Woodworth fled the crash even though recordings show he could hear sirens on the way to his parents’ house, Ryan said motorists who had nothing to do with the incident tried to pull bodies from the wreck. He called Woodworth’s actions “grievous, egregious” and “beyond just reckless.”
After Judge Ryan handed down the longer sentence, Bloskey’s parents hugged family and friends outside the courtroom.
“We did what we came here to do,” Sally Bloskey told the crowd. She thanked loved ones between sobs for their help and support. Ahead of the sentencing, Ryan said he received around 100 written statements.
Outside the courthouse, Bloskey’s father said he was pleased that the judge listened to the victim impact statements and decided to impose the longer sentence.
“In the final analysis, it does not bring back our son,” Jeff Bloskey said. “Nothing ever will. But this does, in our opinion, punish this man.”