Man sentenced to 6 months in jail in accidental shooting of brother, may not serve time

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  • yarrlydarb Ogden, UT
    Dec. 21, 2012 6:11 p.m.

    If this young, former U.S. Marine were to have shot and killed one of his comrade in arms in Afghanistan while have been drinking, acting in an immature, irresponsible, negligent manner with a firearm, would the military just slap his hands and tell him not to do that anymore?

    He was irresponsible, immature in his thinking, negligent, and reckless. There's a price to pay beyond just the suffering that comes from taking anyone's life, family, friend or innocent associate.

  • yarrlydarb Ogden, UT
    Dec. 21, 2012 4:48 p.m.

    Mercy? Yes. Leniency? Sure. Accountability? Without a doubt. But looking totally the other way because it was accidental? No! Alcohol and negligence ignored? Absolutely not.

    Irresponsibility and negligence given a free ride when something so tragic occurs will teach future irresponsible and negligent individuals to define mercy, leniency and accountability as meaningless.

    This 27-year-old irresponsible and fatally negligent former U.S. Marine to be a man and pay the price.

    He's not a murderer, but he took a life of even a loved one and justice requires an appropriate penalty for the good of civilized society.

  • ulvegaard Medical Lake, Washington
    Dec. 21, 2012 3:34 p.m.

    As a society, many of us have become obsessed with punishment. Accident, intentional, it makes no difference -- someone has got to pay.

    Might our efforts and resources be better used in helping to teach and support people in making good decisions, in overcoming negative influences, in gaining more productive skills? Granted, there are times when, for the safety of society some individuals need to be separated out. But a person hits a piece of black ice, spins out of control and hits another car - injuring or killing a person/persons in that car, we send them off to jail. Why? We all do dumb things, some with tragic results -- but let's focus our efforts on improving the future and not always punishing the past.

  • Still Blue after all these years Kaysville, UT
    Dec. 21, 2012 2:32 p.m.

    The article is clearly slanted towards the mother's plea and therefore most commentors side with the mother. But something needs to teach the living son that alcohol and many things don't mix. If he gets off with no punishment, I don't know that he will learn that lesson and perhaps in the future drive off drunk and kill some innocent victim. Every mother wants mercy for their children but this is about a civilized society trying to manage itself.

  • Elcapitan Ivins, UT
    Dec. 21, 2012 11:40 a.m.

    Isn't this involuntary manslaughter? It carries a penalty. It is also a crime. If we are soft on careless handling of deadly weopens when drunk, then we are opening the door for the next incident to go unpunished. This is the trouble with America right now, soft on items such as this and worse.

    If you commit the crime then do the time. Justice is then served. Mothers will always want to love and defend an offender, it is only natural.

  • Bryan Syracuse, UT
    Dec. 21, 2012 10:13 a.m.

    Calling this incident an "accident" is wrong. This man pointed a loaded gun at his brother's head and pulled the trigger. He violated all 4 of the basic gun safety rules. He also broke what shouldn't need to be a rule: Don't Play with Guns when You're Drunk. People who commit crimes are often sorry about what they did. That doesn't mean that they shouldn't be held accountable by the criminal justice system. If he had been playing with a gun while drunk and had shot and killed a stranger, instead of his brother, should he have not been tried and imprisoned? Of course he should have; that the victim that he killed is his brother makes little difference.

  • VIDAR Murray, UT
    Dec. 21, 2012 9:37 a.m.


    What would you say is the purpose of jail/prison?
    lots of people would like to have their loved one at home with them who have committed crimes and are locked up.
    How can we lock up people in prison for selling/possessing pot; but when a man shoots his brother in the head there is no punishment.
    isn't part of the reason we lock people up so that they can pay back society for what they have done?
    What happens next time someone is drunk and shoots someone: should they also not go to prison?
    How many people are in prison after they have shot someone while drunk? my guess is over 50% of murders are commited by a drunk person.
    Should we just say if someone is drunk they are not liable for what they do?

  • Cats Somewhere in Time, UT
    Dec. 21, 2012 9:28 a.m.

    I remember the case in Summitt County. However, as I recall, the father was only charged. He had not been to trial, but was so devastated that he killed himself. The County Attorny felt that he had no choice but to file the case and charge him, but it was all a terrible tragedy. Of course, the father didn't intend for it to happen. But, it showed incredibly stupid judgment that ended in the loss of a child.

    The same thing is true in this case. It was some really stupid judgement on the part of the defendant. But, I agree, the family has suffered enough. After all, it was really just a tragic accident. Let him go and let this family try to put their lives back together.

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    Dec. 21, 2012 9:26 a.m.

    What would be so bad with a year in Jail? Its not that long and it does serve notice that if you have a gun, you are responsible to always treat it as if loaded. Every gun owner should know that. The biggest punishment is the loss of his brother. I would think a year in Jail would even ease the pain of that.

  • AlanSutton Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 21, 2012 9:09 a.m.

    I agree with those who say he has suffered enough. I remember a case 8-10 year ago in Summit County where a father left his small son in a truck while he went to scout hunting sites. He didn't mean to be gone long. But when he returned he couldn't find the boy. The boy had left the truck and got lost. The wrong thing to do? Yes, but after being prosecuted and receiving a jail sentence, the father killed himself at the site where his boy's body was found. A terrible tragedy. Sometimes government prosecutors - and judges - just makes things worse.

  • JWB Kaysville, UT
    Dec. 21, 2012 9:04 a.m.

    I am not a proponent of alcohol and substance abuse. However, impairment is defined for driving and other activities and that is the law.

    This is hard on the family and mother, especially. A former military person was trained and qualified to have a weapon in a supervised mode. They are not given a weapon when they are drinking in a festive mode. Everyone in his presence that day should have had gun training and know that a weapon with a clip installed is a potential threat to life and limb.

    Not being on the jury and given the rules by the judge, it does seem to be an appeals process in the future.

  • ManInTheMiddle SANDY, UT
    Dec. 21, 2012 8:54 a.m.

    Please stop wasting my tax dollars on this case. What a waste. Let him go, let them try to move on. Putting him in jail serves zero public purpose.

  • AZ Blue & Red Gilbert, AZ
    Dec. 21, 2012 8:03 a.m.

    Not sure there is a right answer. It is obvious that there is negligence and some extreme lack of judgment here. I do not understand the drinking part as it has affected and ruined so many lives. (My family is not excluded) But the torment of what has happened will be thousands of times more punishing than any jail sentence. (Assuming he is truly sorry, which from our view he is). So I tend to agree let him be on probation and let him work to pay taxes and not let us support him with our taxes. I think he has been drug through enough mud. Mom and Dad agree and I think they would be a good gauge.

    Whether you all want to admit it or not we all have done things where we looked back and said now that was not very smart. Most of the time we are lucky and nothing major happens. But in this case it was a bit more serious and negligent and things went wrong.

    God Speed to the family. They are the ones suffering the most. So let’s move on.

  • goodfella Provo, UT
    Dec. 21, 2012 7:45 a.m.

    My2Cents, because his alcohol levels were .06 four hours after the incident. The body processes somewhere between .06 & .08 alcohol per hour, roughly the equivalent of one beer or mixed drink. If he wasn't tested until four hours after the fact and was at that point .06, it is logical and certainly easy to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that at the time of the shooting he was well above .08 (at least .2, and that's a low-ball number).
    I do agree with you though; the man is being punished enough just by what happened, the courts should have stayed out of it; and certainly the public gains nothing from his trial and possible incarceration. A waste of tax-payers dollars.

  • Screwdriver Casa Grande, AZ
    Dec. 21, 2012 6:33 a.m.

    It would be good if he could avoid jail and go talking to people about gun safety. If someone that's not dangerous is willing to do something more meaningful than jail, we should let them.

  • My2Cents Taylorsville, UT
    Dec. 21, 2012 3:27 a.m.

    How did they determine neglegence citing alcohol levels as justification? The alcohols levels were legal and non impairing so this man was convicted falsely of any criminal actions.

    This is why no one should eaver deal with copping pleas under threats and intidation and emotional stress. This man is no more guilty of a crime, it was all accidental with no impairments. We never see police offeers arrested and sent to jail everytime their guns go off intentional or accidental.

    The man has had enough punishment and suffering to last a life time without court actions insulting the man and justice with a wrongful conviction. Its time to put the brakes on these kinds of non trial convictions being negotiated under threats and intimidation. The case should have never gone to trail or courts. Over zealous attorneys and judges for cites need to be put on notice of contempt of people rights and start shutting down illegal non trail convictions.