A 19-year-old man was recently found guilty of reckless manslaughter in the killing of a Big O Tire employee last year in August after the employee got into an altercation with the teen’s father. The suspect tearfully addressed the victim’s family with an apology and asked for forgiveness before being sent to prison, according to recent Colorado Springs Gazette article. His attorney requested a lesser sentence of a year in a youth offender’s prison, stating that his client was simply protecting his father. The victim’s family asked the judge to grant the maximum sentence, which he received. He was sentenced to six years in jail.
According to investigators, the suspect, his younger brother and his father went to Big O last August to get a flat tire on their truck fixed when they heard an employee swearing. The father reported the employee to his boss, which sparked a confrontation between the two men. The employee, whom had been drinking, was instructed by his boss to go home, but he was still in the parking lot when the family was leaving.
The employee confronted the suspect’s father as he was driving toward the exit. The father testified that the employee reached into his pickup truck and knocked off his glasses while attempting to open the door and threatening to kill him. The suspect grabbed his father’s .45-caliber pistol, got out of the truck and shot the employee seven times.
The victim’s father acknowledged that his son had a drinking problem, but he didn’t deserve to die. The suspect’s father described his son as model child who never even got a parking ticket, and he was worried what prison life would to do him.
This case is a sad example of the fact that no matter how tirelessly a criminal defense attorney works in your defense, the judge reserves the right to rule as he deems best. This young man had no previous record, however, he shot a man seven times in cold blood. Repeatedly shooting the man would constitute a reckless act in the eyes of the law, and manslaughter is committed when you engage in an act that recklessly causes the death of another person. Even though the suspect’s heart was in the right place (defending his father), the young man had other options–options that would have kept him out of jail.