A Nederland man who drove drunk and wrecked a car last fall with three passengers on board, killing one of them and injuring the other two, was sentenced to eight years in prison Wednesday.
Nathan Hankie, 28, apologized to a Boulder County District Court judge for getting behind the wheel of a Volkswagen Rabbit in early October 2007 after drinking with friends in Boulder.
“There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t regret taking control of that vehicle that day,” he said. “I often lay awake at night and contemplate my actions.”
The crash, which police say happened on a curve at the mouth of Boulder Canyon when Hankie was driving nearly twice the legal speed limit of 35 mph, killed 32-year-old Michael Ray, of Rollinsville.
Evan Poole, of Franklin, Tenn., injured his back, and Sam Franklin, of Nederland, received a facial cut.
Hankie was also injured in the crash.
He pleaded guilty in July to vehicular homicide and vehicular assault. Four other charges were dismissed.
Franklin appeared in court Wednesday to ask the judge not to put his friend in prison but to allow him to continue receiving support from his friends and family as he tried to get his life back on track.
“Locking Nate up is one of the worst things that could happen,” Franklin said.
Hankie’s lawyer, public defender Megan Ring, said her client was gainfully employed and asked the judge for a Community Corrections sentence.
But prosecutor Tim Johnson said Hankie, with two prior felony convictions and a recent violation of his bond, deserved a stiffer penalty.
Hankie was re-arrested just last month after he failed a breath-alcohol test. He was barred from drinking as a condition of remaining out of jail.
Johnson said Poole’s back injury, which required his vertabrae be fused, may derail him from pursuing a career in the military.
But prosecutor Tim Johnson said Hankie, with two prior felony convictions and a recent violation of his bond, deserved a stiffer sentence.
Hankie was arrested again last month after he failed a breath-alcohol test. He was barred from drinking as a condition of remaining out of jail.