Family Stunned By Sentence For Drunk Driver Who Killed Man
By Stan Bush
WHEAT RIDGE, Colo. (CBS4) - Family members of a man killed by a drunk driver were in disbelief Wednesday when a judge sentenced the driver to just five years in community corrections and a year of jail time.
Robert McGhee, 59, had a blood alcohol level twice the legal limit on Nov. 23, 2014 when he hit and killed a man. John Gilmore, 48, was walking home from his first night of work in Wheat Ridge when he was struck.
McGhee was found guilty of vehicular homicide last November.
McGhee could have been sentenced to 12 years in prison, but a visiting judge presiding over the case chose a far more lenient sentence that includes time in a halfway house and supervision, but likely gets McGhee out of jail in less than a year.
"In my view this case is unconscionable," said Jefferson County District Attorney Pete Weir.
McGhee had previous alcohol arrests, and handfuls of empty liquor bottles were found in his car at the accident scene.
Weir said McGhee showed no remorse during the trial and even blamed the accident on the victim.
"A case of this nature clearly merits incarceration," he said.
"Very disrespected with the judge's decision and I disagree with that 100 percent," said Gilmore's son Brian.
Gilmore's family said the justice system failed them. First responders who were with Gilmore on the scene were also in court and were outraged by the sentence.
"I just don't, like, even understand how these loopholes got through what's supposedly called the justice system," said Candice Gilmore, the victim's daughter.
The family is now considering their legal options and may pursue a civil suit.
Stan Bush is a general assignment reporter at CBS4. His stories can be seen on CBS4 News at 10. Read his bio and follow him on Twitter @StanBushTV.
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