Are we able to send statements to the judge for consideration in sentencing?
Dustin Levi appeared in court this morning. I don't know the technical name of why we were there--hearing, trial, or what--so I won't make something up. I tried to take as many notes during court as possible, so if any of this doesnít flow very well or make much sense, itís because I was writing from my rather disorganized notes.
I was able to sit with Sherry, Chris (their son), Sherryís sister, and other family friends. Sherry was told (prior to this morning) by the attorney that Levi was expected to enter a plea of guilty and that he would be sentenced to three years. Sherry pointed out Levi's mother-in-law to me and said that some of the other people were there to support him, but she wasn't sure who they were. She doesn't think his wife was there. He has been in jail since it happened in September, so he was escorted into the courtroom wearing an orange jumpsuit and handcuffs.
The district attorney spoke for just a few minutes about the facts of the caseóthat Levi had been drinking moonshine earlier that day and fighting with his wife and later tried to kill himself by going into the street and daring motorists to hit him. He said that Don tried to miss hitting Levi, lost control of the bike, and crashed into a tree. He mentioned that Don had been riding for 46 years and was therefore very experienced. He also mentioned that Donís family has been present at every court appearance.
The defense attorney then spoke, saying that the facts showed that Levi had indeed been reckless. He said no one knows for sure whether Don came in contact with Levi (he did say that if this was moved to a jury trial, that that would be investigated). The judge then questioned Levi to make sure he understood the consequences of entering a guilty plea. He asked how far Levi had gotten in school (I guess to determine his level of competence), and Levi replied that he attended through the 10th grade. He was asked if he has ever entered a plea of guilty in a prior case, and he said he had (keep in mind heís only 25). The judge explained the right to a trial by jury and all that it entails, and explained that by entering a plea of guilty he would be giving up all those rights, including the right to appeal. Levi then pled guilty to reckless homicide, a Class D felony, and will be sentenced to 3 years. The sentencing hearing will take place on the morning of May 3, 2010, where the judge will determine how the 3 years will be served.
After the court session was over, the district attorney spoke to those of us who were there for Don. He said (I thinkóI really donít know much about the legal system, so I may not have all my facts straight) that there will be a pre-sentencing investigation where they will look at Leviís background. Sherry will receive a ďvictim impact statementĒ before the hearing where she can give any comments she chooses. This statement will be sent to the judge prior to the sentencing hearing so that he will have a chance to wrap his head around what occurred that night before the actual hearing occurs. The attorney said that someone from the family will be able to testify at the hearing if they choose. He recommended that the family choose one person to do this. He warned that the defense attorney will have the opportunity to cross-examine, but that it should not be an aggressive cross-examination. The sentencing hearing is the last step in this whole process, and again, we know that he will get three years, we just donít know how it will be served. Everyone is hoping that he will spend the whole time in jail.
Everyone Iíve met has seemed very kind and compassionateóthe arresting officer, the district attorney, and even the judges and defense attorney.
I know all of us were hoping this guy would spend a lot more time in jail and this seems like a very short sentence, but Iím trying to look at the bright side, which is that the family will not have to go through a jury trial and potential appeal, which would probably be a very lengthy process. Iím sure that all the phone calls to lawyers and changes to court dates and having to think about the technicalities of the whole process can be very consuming, so thankfully this will be over soon and they can all get back to their normal lives as much as they can without Don.
Sherry told me that she and Chris are hoping to make it to the Spring Bash for a day.
Are we able to send statements to the judge for consideration in sentencing?
I used to own:
'00 zx9r ninja
'05 dodge magnum
But they were taken away from me
Pictures of a few GTGs.
1 @ Wilmington
1 @ Mount Morrow
1 @ Greensboro
Spring Busa Bash 08
Speed Restricted pix
We will find out, but I don't see why not. If the answer is yes, we will post the address here.
Thank you for the update Diane.
You Don't Stop Riding Because You Get Old, You Get Old Because You Stop Riding
Thanks for the update , I wish the kid would get life instead of a short term sentence !
I think that the only way we transcend the inevitability of being " Dust In The Wind " is the impact we leave on others after we are gone. To be Human is to recognize the necessity of interaction and the ability to affect one person's life with the smallest behavior . What we do echos throughout time, And while we may be forgotten, What is Today is only possible because of Yesterday !
I am sure we all are upset at the small consquences this moron will suffer. I wish the best for Sherry and her family that she can feel justice has been served. I will miss Don, who rides with me everyday.
Thank you Diane for your time and the update.
Sitting here quietly until someone ticks me off..
This sounds like a definite deal was indeed made between the prosecution & the defense attorney, where if he plead guilty... 3yrs would be what he would have to serve.
It's unfortunate....most of us don't see it as near enough time for someone who took such a gracious mans life.
I pray that while it's no consolation for Dons Family....I hope they find some peace in the fact that the matter will not get drawn out in a jury trial where it could go on for years & you never know what may happen.
"Ripley" is in good hands. Giving up my passion for a machine is insignificant if it will help me win my battle to be with my Daughter. I will never give up that fight! Yes, my ex is the Devil!
If the sentence is already been issued no amount of crying or pleading from either side will change it.
The judge has already made up his mind and will state accordingly.
I've testified at enough hearings both federal and local.
Some for the person some against.
They never made a diff as the judge just sat there and listened.
You could tell it was going in one ear and out the other.
Just my exp.
I am truly sorry for their loss.
To lose ones loved one over a stupid act by another sucks.
Kharma comes around and maybe you can make friends with the resident biker gang in the jail he will hopefully be going to.
A carton of Marlboros and a note to one saying what he did and let them take care of the rest out in the 'yard' !
Thank You so much for the update. I still don't think this guy is getting the punishment that he deserves.
Somehow, just knowing he will serve time should give me some comfort, but you know what, the guy could serve 30 years, and I don't think it would be a big enough price for the life he took. Don was a very special person, and I consider myself fortunate to have had him as a friend.
It's almost totally stock, honest! THANK YOU ORG MEMBERS FOR YOUR SUPPORT AFTER MY ACCIDENT, YOU ARE THE BEST!
Thanks for keeping us posted. Very sad indeed, best wishes for the family.
Busa K9 Silver
Husqvarna TE610ie 08
Harley Dyna Superglide 2010
Always ride as if everyone is trying to kill you, ... as they are.
Thanks for the update!
I cant however really express how i feel about this!
I dont think for one minute he is getting what he deserves!
04 LIMITED BUSA, 1397 kit, intake cam swap, 50hp wet NOS kit!
92 GSXR 1100/1216 THE BABY I JUST CANT GIVE UP
99 BUSA, SOON TO SEE THE ROAD AGAIN
I cant say much else without getting mad. I echo Hal's comment. Love you Don.
Do you know God? http://www.lifechurch.tv/
I have to say this. I don't think Don would want this guy to spend his whole life in prison for this, IF he can grow the heck up and make something of his life. I think 5 would have been more appropriate, with three he'll be out in 18 months on good behavior in all likelyhood. Everyone that knew Don also knows he would have been the FIRST guy to stop in that road and offer his hand to that kid. Ironic.
I guess the good news is, We'll be having a Bash within a few hours of where this guy is when he is released from Prison. A nice ride by would be in order...
Hate to say it but with prison crowding, and if he is a good lil insect, he'll probably be able to get the sentence reduced the minimum 2yrs and then when they count the time he has already served, he'll be out in about 18 months.
'06 Sonoma Red/Black
'99 Silverado Z71You're not drunk if you can lie on the floor without holding on. -- Dean Martin
Thank you so much for the details and update. I know it's hard to accept that Don's life ended so tragically and the guy that didn't care enough about himself or anyone else will do so little time...I'm with what's being echoed here - I just miss Don and wish this had never happened...
~~ Michelle's Pictures ~~
I am a new day rising
I'm a brand new sky
To hang the stars upon tonight
I am a little divided
Do I stay or run away
And leave it all behind?
Miss you Don
Thanks for taking the time to keep us updated. I really appreciate it.
3 yrs isn't enough This clown will be back on the streets to do more harm to other families. Trust me, he's not going to learn a lesson from this, his long list of priors prove that.
Take a Love and valued member of society and you get 3 yrs.....Life isn't fair
If at first you don't succeed, destroy all evidence that you tried.~Author Unknown
I miss you Don
3 years for taking a life from someone and their family NOT ENOUGH time at all. i guess all that can be done now is for Sherry and her family to try to carry on with their lives as best as possible. My prayers are with the family!!
Don is very much missed every day...
As for Mr. Levi - well, aside from what everyone else here has said - I don't have anything nice to say.
Too bad we can't choose how his 3 yrs are spent...
Levi only gets three years? The charge should be more like manslaughter instead of reckless endangerment.