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On Tuesday, more than a year after Robert Wefald learned that his son was killed in a pickup crash in California, the retired Bismarck judge sat in a Fresno federal courtroom to watch the man responsible be sentenced.

Nicholas Moser, 25, received four years and four months in federal prison after pleading guilty to driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol and to the involuntary manslaughter of Thomas “Tom” Wefald, 35.

On Aug. 31, 2013, Moser was driving a pickup in King’s Canyon National Park in California. Thomas Wefald was sitting in the back of the truck with two other people.

Moser “had way too much alcohol, way too much drugs and was going way too fast,” Robert Wefald said.

“The vehicle hit a tree, my son was thrown into it and killed instantly. The vehicle was going so fast it turned completely upside-down and over and landed right-side-up the opposite direction,” he added.

In a Wednesday interview with the Tribune, the senior Wefald said being at the Tuesday sentencing brought him some closure in his son’s death.

“I told Mr. Moser that I forgave him, that I did not hate him, that I was upset with him because of what he did,” Wefald said.

He added that he also told Moser that, “if you’re truly sorry, I hope you can find it in your heart to forgive yourself some day.”

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In discussing his son’s death, Wefald spoke of making a surprising discovery.

While going through their son’s personal effects, Wefald said his wife found several notebooks.

“When she reviewed them, it turned out that unbeknownst to any of us, that Tom had kept journals ever since he was in high school,” Wefald said.

“No one knew that he was doing this. But he would literally cover every inch of the page, top to bottom, side to side. And a lot of it was random, but a lot of it was very thoughtful and well-written, insightful.”

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Reach reporter Andrew Sheeler at 701-250-8225 or andrew.sheeler@bismarcktribune.com.

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