Update on Sandra Triebel

Sandra Triebel is the 40-something year-old lady who admitted to furnishing the liquor to Kenneth Scott Blake II before he drove the wrong way down a highway, killing my sister Laura. You can read about the legal history in my timeline but suffice it to say, she didn’t serve a day in jail for her actions. That was not surprising to us after suffering through Judge Charles Atwell’s twisted, victim-hating, sense of justice.

sandra_meth_mugshot

Right after judge Peggy Stevens McGraw dismissed manslaughter charges against her, but before she was sentenced for misdemeanor involvement in Laura’s death, she was popped for methamphetamine possession out in Livingston County, MO. As soon as I heard this I predicted she had a good chance of being punished more severely for that charge, than for her contribution to my sister’s death. I was correct as Ms. Triebel was sentenced to 5 years with an opportunity for review after 120 days. She is in jail as far as I know at this time. I was told that these charges could not be considered when sentencing for her involvement in my sister’s death. I was also told that her probation for giving alcohol to minors couldn’t be considered when sentencing her fort he meth! It just really seems like the justice system is set up to coddle criminals, not punish them.

modoc_triebel

I have mixed emotions about this. Of course I’m happy to see this lady actually serve time for anything. I even told my family that I thought she looked like an amphetamine user the first time I laid eyes on her so I wasn’t surprised at all when she got busted for possessing it. (I grew up in Independence, Missouri so I usually recognize the effects of meth on peoples’ faces when I see it) For those of you who think I should have more compassion for a poor lady with a disease, please trade places with my sister before judging. Also, try telling a 3-year-old who is dying of cancer that the free-will choice of methamphetamine use constitutes “disease.” Still, the bottom line is that she is serving time for a victimless crime while never serving any time for breaking the law in a way that contributed to the death of an innocent child.

screen-shot-2013-04-22-at-10-47-54-am

You see, our justice system’s priorities are completely ignorant and arbitrary. Punishment should be proportional to the harm a crime causes to others. I’m not sticking up for meth-heads; far from it actually. What I’m saying is that crimes that result in harm to innocent people should draw the largest punishment. Crimes that result in death should be treated very harshly. If you’re sitting there disagreeing with me, I guarantee you’ve never lost an immediate family member to the criminal actions of some stranger. The law states that there is some collective social harm done when someone possesses drugs. That’s fine, but the punishment for said crime should be much lower than a crime which results in someone else’s death. If she had been high while driving, then I would say that’s a much more serious crime than just possessing the drug. All this aside, I’m glad some one-in-a-million judge out in Livingston County, Missouri has his head screwed on correctly enough to finally hold this lady accountable for her behavior. How’s that for a confusing opinion?

Amish Man Sentenced to 15 Years for Orchestrating Hair and Beard Cutting “Attacks”

We have a HUGE criminal prosecution and sentencing priorities mix-up in this country. Some Amish guy masterminded the forceful cutting of beards and hair of other Amish people and was just sentenced to 15 years.  Many, many, murders and nearly all rapists get sentences far short of 15 years. Now, I love my luxurious, cro-magnon-like beard as much as the next guy but the term “beard-cutting attack” diminishes the word “attack” as well as diminishes real “attack” victims. Take a life? No big deal. Offend someone’s childlike, whacko religious beliefs about hair and beards? HATE CRIME!!!!! How has personal offense become more harshly punished than cold blooded murder? If you think this type of action warrants this type of punishment, you clearly haven’t ever been the victim of any real crime, let alone, a violent attack.

http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/02/08/16899647-amish-sect-leader-sentenced-to-15-years-for-role-in-beard-cutting-attacks

 

Marshall, MN – Judge Charles Glasrud sentences 3x repeat drunk driver dana Schoen to 48-months for 0.351bac crash that killed 5-month-old baby

This one is horrible for so many reasons. There are just so many examples of judges who simply don’t take repeat, drunk driving, child-killers’ crimes seriously. I don’t get it.

Dana Schoen

dana-schoen
  • Schoen was a 3-time repeat offender.
  • Schoen blew a 0.351 BAC after causing this head-on collision.
  • Schoen killed a 5-month old.
  • Schoen nearly killed Brad Bigler and Sharon Schuler, breaking 10 of their bones apiece.
  • Brad Bigler had recently experienced another tragedy in that he watched his mother drown in a fluke kayak accident.

Some quotes from the news:

“Heather ran to the back seat — where her baby boy’s car seat was dangling out of the car, the straps literally cut in half due to the force of the collision. Drake Bigler was attempting — with much difficulty — to breathe. The ambulance showed up minutes later, but not before Heather spotted a man just milling around outside, wandering with no real purpose.

‘I couldn’t figure out what he was doing,’ she said. “Then he came up to me and offered me a can of pop.’”

 

“‘The doctor looked at me and told me that Drake was brain-dead,’ Heather said, ‘that he couldn’t do anything on his own and was basically on life support.’

That’s when the doctors wheeled an unresponsive Brad next to his son and attempted to wake the father of three. Heather will never forget the scene. The doctors shook her husband, telling him: ‘Sir, your son’s not going to make it. Do you want to say goodbye?’”

How do you figure a 48-month sentence, of which he only has to serve 2/3rds, suffice for doing these things to innocent people? Shame on Judge Glasrud for not giving this guy all the time in prison that the law allows.

Judge Charles Glasrud

glasrud

http://www.cbssports.com/collegebasketball/blog/eye-on-college-basketball/21609016/blindsided-how-one-college-coach-took-on-tragedy

http://www.cbssports.com/collegebasketball/blog/eye-on-college-basketball/21613184/drunk-driver-in-bigler-crash-gets-48-months-in-jail

 

Fairbanks, AK – Judge Jane Kauvar suspends 88% of Edna Hancock’s DUI sentence after .279 BAC crash kills Andrea Ruby and seriously injures Jerry Hunt

So this drunk not only won’t take responsibility for her actions (typical), but places the blame back on her victims.

“I really don’t want to go on record saying that I was the cause of that lady’s death. What I want to know is what was he (Hunt) doing in the middle of the road?” Hancock said.

The judge, in all her wisdom, offered this sage advice and encouragement to the offender:

“‘Yes, it’s long. This was your first DUI and if no one had been hurt or killed, obviously you’d be doing a lot less,’ Kauvar said. ‘There is somebody else in Anchorage who drove with the same blood alcohol level and someone died — that person is doing 20 years in jail. So, you know, I think that you can look at it all and you need to understand. Your responsibility is to be on that road, under a .08, and sober enough to actually be driving a vehicle.’”

So that begs the question Jane Kauvar: Considering someone died, why would you suspend ANY of the DUI sentence? Is a year too much to serve when you were caught driving with a .279 after an accident in which someone lost their life? Would you have done the same if one of your immediate family members had lost their life in similar circumstances?

http://juneauempire.com/state/2012-05-10/drunk-driver-fatal-crash-gets-45-day-sentence

Judge Jane Kauvar

j-kauvar

Judge Charles Atwell retires

I just happened across the following KC Star article today:

http://www.kansascity.com/2012/11/24/3933493/retiring-judge-charles-atwell.html

While I am extremely content that this judge is retiring and will not be presiding over Missourincases any longer, the reality is that this man is now heading back to private practice at Foland, Wickens, Eisfelder, Roper & Hofer. While practicing there, he will no doubt use the judicial knowledge, contacts, and relationships he has gained as a judge, to help cut deals for criminals, for a nominal fee of course.

Judge Charles Atwell

The KC Star article was a one-sided, nauseating piece, full of judicial adoration and baseless compliments to the judge. Sen. Claire McCaskill said, “Charlie has been one of the more popular judges, not because he’s a pushover or is a nice guy, but from the way he runs his courtroom and the respect he shows the litigants. Every lawyer wants to walk into a courtroom and feel that the judge can relate to their client and what they are going through. Charlie is that judge.”

No senator, I am fairly certain he is a popular judge because he is a pushover. He had plenty of respect for my sister’s killer but nothing but contempt for my sister and her grieving family. Inexplicably, he does seem to relate to defendants, just not victims.

Richard Callahan, the U.S. attorney in St. Louis emphasized my point while being quoted for this article: “As judges, we touch the lives of people in their worst moments, their most scary moments, be it divorce or incarceration,” Callahan said. “It’s a tremendous power that has to be exercised wisely. He did that as well as any human being can. That will be missed.”

Due process may be a murderer’s worst or scariest moment but this pales in comparison to the moment such an offender dishes out to his or her victim(s) and their family. More and more judges refuse to consider this. Judges who care more about the “scariness” of a murderer being sentenced than of the grief imposed on the victim’s family seem to be common place.

“Atwell said his work as a trial lawyer profoundly influenced how he manages a courtroom.

‘It gave me the perspective that defendants in criminal cases are people too,’ Atwell said. ‘They come in all shapes and sizes. The way people are treated is often as important as the result.’”

Again, he’s all respect and admiration for the criminal with no consideration for their victims.

“For a time, Atwell represented Bob Griffin, the former Democratic Missouri House speaker who pleaded guilty to bribery and fraud charges.

“’When (Atwell) was with our firm, he became one of the outstanding white-collar criminal defense attorneys in this area,’ James Wyrsch said. ‘He was beginning to achieve a national reputation.’”

Nice Atwell. I hope my son never dreams of being considered an “outstanding white-collar criminal defense attorney.”

“‘I think in big cities you have to prioritize your resources,’ Atwell said. ‘You have people who are charged with murder, robbery and rape, and you want to make sure those people are locked up, and not someone who was driving while revoked.’”

I understand prioritization of punishment such that the focus is on violent offenders over nonviolent offenders. However, he is quoted here saying that those driving while revoked shouldn’t be locked up. Read this blog and see what the results of judges allowing repeat drunk drivers to stay out of jail on suspended licenses. The fact is that in the US, a whole family being wiped out by a wrong-way, repeat, suspended, drunk driver, is not a rarity at all thanks to judges with this mindset. I have seen instance, after instance, after instance, of innocent people dying violent deaths because judges like this let a repeat drunk driver go after they drove on a suspended license.

 

Enfield, CT – Judge Howard Scheinblum sentences Austin Buckmann to 8 months in jail for drunken crash that killed friend

“Judge Howard Scheinblum said he admired how Buckmann reached out to Tanski’s family. His family and Tanski’s sat together in court.

The judge sentenced Buckmann to 3½ years in prison, suspended after 8 months, and four years’ probation with drug and alcohol screenings and community service.

Buckmann was driving drunk with three other teens in his car when he hit a utility pole in Simsbury. Tankski was killed. No one else was hurt.”

udge-howard-scheinblum

Just boys being boys right judge?

http://www.wtnh.com/dpp/news/crime/teen-sentenced-in-drunken-driving-death#.ULBNX4WQQ7A

Newark, OH – Judge David Branstool sentences Gary Fellure to 45 days in jail for drunken crash that killed his brother

“A Licking County man was sentenced to 45 days in jail today for the drunk-driving crash that killed his younger brother.

Calling the case “almost impossible,” Branstool today sentenced Gary Fellure to jail time as well as five years of probation. He is to report to the Licking County jail on Aug. 10. ”

branstool

What’s “impossible” about this case? What about the safety of the public?

http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/local/2012/07/27/drunk-driver-sentenced-for-brothers-death.html

LA, CA – Repeat drunk driver Andrew Thomas Gallo gets 51 years for killing three including Angels’ Nick Adenhart while on probation for last offense

It’s sad that the state of this country is such that 51 years for killing three on your second DUI offense is considered a lot of time… but it is. I can’t help but think that killing someone noteworthy increases ones sentence.

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2010/12/drunk-driver-who-killed-angels-nick-adenhart-sentenced-to-51-years-in-prison.html

Salem, MA – Judge Michael Lauranzano sentences Angelique Griffin to just 2 years in jail for drunk driving crash that killed man

I guess Lauranzano is just one of those judges. Does anyone believe for a second that this awful judge would choose two years as a sentence if his own child were killed?

Beverly:
Beverly Mayor Bill Scanlon, center, takes the oath of office from The Honorable Michael Lauranzano, left, as the mayor's wife, Louise, right, stands by his side on the stage at the inauguration ceremony at Beverly High School.
Photo by Ken Yuszkus/Salem News, Tuesday, January 3, 2011.

http://www.necn.com/11/15/12/Mass-victims-family-outraged-by-drunk-dr/landing.html?blockID=802329&feedID=11106