TAMPA (FOX 13) - A busy courtroom was silenced by a father’s breaking heart Wednesday.
"A bond between a father and a son is a strong one,” sighed Tom Repass.
By Repass' side in the courtroom were his wife, daughter, son and his son’s girlfriend. He honored his son's memory for the next 27 minutes.
"I cannot begin to explain how many tears I have had to dry in my family and among my son’s friends. How much grief I have seen and tried to wipe away," Repass continued.
The tears haven't stopped since November 4, 2015. That’s when detectives say Tom Repass' son Matt agreed to race defendant Dennis Hamilton along Bloomingdale Avenue in Tampa.
Investigators say Hamilton’s reckless driving caused Matt to crash; he died at the scene. They say the defendant never reported it to police and took off.
Just go on YouTube and you'll find illegal street racing in Tampa and across the country. But that dangerous sport sometimes ends up in courtroom.
This morning, Dennis Hamilton accepted a plea deal, but not before he took in the lifetime of anguish coming from Matt’s family.
"There is a natural order to things and I would never wish on anybody that they would have to bury their son. It’s out of order, it should never be out of order,” Repass concluded. “There is no way to repair the pain; that lasts forever. I want [Matt] to know -- because I know he can hear me -- that I was very, very proud of him.”
Under the plea agreement, the judge sentenced Hamilton to 60 months’ probation and suspended his driving privileges for three years.
Hamilton stood silent and never addressed the court.