Tears, forgiveness, as Rochester man pleads guilty to killing community activist’s father in DWI crash

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — The Rochester man accused of killing Milton Harris back in May in a drunk driving crash on Genesee Park Boulevard Monday pleaded guilty.

Justin Seabon was charged with driving while intoxicated, aggravated vehicular homicide, and unauthorized use of a vehicle for the May 10 crash that claimed the life of community activist Clay Harris’s 83-year-old father, Milton.

Milton was described as a pillar of the community, a man who operated his own lawn cutting business, and worked right up until the day his life was taken.

Monday both members of the Harris family and the Seabon family filled the courtroom before 33-year old Seabon walked in with his father to learn his fate.

Milton was sitting in one of the three cars Seabon crashed into. He died almost instantly. Milton Harris, and his employees were mowing lawns in the neighborhood.

"He would help anyone, because a lot of people he would cut their grass, and didn’t have the money to pay him he said don’t worry about it," said son Charles Harris. "Other people who were elderly, who had no other family around. He would cut their grass just for free."

Clay addressed the courtroom, saying he finds it difficult to forgive Seabon, but he’s following his Christian values and forgives him.

Although they came seeking justice, Seabon has been forgiven by some members of the Harris family.

"It was very difficult to forgive Justin, and I finally did because really god told me to, and I was holding on to it literally too long, to be honest with you," Clay said.

Eldest son Bishop Clarence Harris said it was the right thing to do.

"There was repentance, yet still, there must be consequences for one’s actions," he said. "Yes, we forgave him because it’s the Christian thing. The only thing. The right thing to do."

Milton’s daughter, Carol Hannah also spoke in court, saying she forgives Seabon. Seabon cried and said "I’m so sorry" multiple times during her statement, and dozens of times during the sentencing. Hannah walked over to him and gave him a hug that lasted more than a minute.

"Your consequences, and your actions you know. You got to think before you do anything," Hannah said.

In an ironic twist, both families actually know each other.

"I really didn’t know him, but apparently his family knew my dad really well, and yes he was very remorseful in the courtroom," Clay said. "I sympathize with the agony he’s been going through."

Seabon pleaded guilty to three of the 10 charges he faced and was sentenced from four to 12 years in prison.

"I want him to do better while he’s incarcerated," Clay said. "So that he can change his life because we’re losing too many young people. He’s still young, he’s only 33. So he has time to better himself."

News10NBC tried to get a comment from members of the Seabon family, but they declined our request as they left the courtroom.