WAYNESBURG, Pa. -- A Greene County, Pa., judge ran some of Jerod Green's sentences concurrently, resulting in a sentence several years lighter than the maximum.
Although Judge William Nalitz didn't specify his reasoning, Pennsylvania law mandates that sentences for some similar crimes be merged with each other and attorneys for Green and the commonwealth debated which crimes they thought should or shouldn't merge.
In December, a Greene Coun- ty jury found Green, a repeat DUI offender, guilty of thirddegree murder, homicide by vehicle while DUI, homicide by vehicle, fleeing while DUI, DUI above .16, third-orsubsequent-offense DUI, speeding, and duty in an emergency response area.
Police in Pennsylvania and West Virginia accused Green of driving drunk early Feb. 18, 2012, fleeing a crash on Easton Hill, driving away from officers who pulled him over on W.Va. 100 near Granville, and leading police on a chase across the state line that ended when he slammed into Monongalia County Sheriff 's Department Sgt. Todd May's patrol vehicle. Green's blood alcohol content was .189 -- more than twice the legal driving limit of .08 -- and he had prescription medication in his system.
Nalitz sentenced Green Tuesday to 18-to-36 years for third-degree murder; five-to-10 years for homicide by vehicle while DUI; and two-to-four years for fleeing while DUI. Those sentences were run consecutively.
Sentences of five-to-10 years for homicide by vehicle and two-to-four years each for third-or-subsequent offense DUI and DUI above .16 were run concurrently to the other sentences. Speeding and duty in an emergency response area were enveloped in the final sentence.
Combined, the sentences added up to 25-to-50 years. If all sentences were run consecutively, the maximum amount of time Green could've faced was 34-to-68 years, although even the district attorney didn't feel the maximum would be correct by law in this case.
According to Pennsylvania law, sentences for crimes should be merged together when the crimes arise from a single criminal act and all of the statutory elements of one offense are included in the elements of the other offense. In those cases, the court may only sentence the defendant on the higher-graded offense.
District Attorney Marjorie Fox argued that homicide by vehicle and homicide by vehicle while DUI should not merge, according to her review of case law. Green's attorney, John Bongivengo, said he thought all of the homicide charges should merge and be run concurrently.
Fox said she agreed that DUI above .16 and third-orsubsequent-offense DUI would merge with the other offense. Her sentencing suggestion would've added an additional five-to-10 years to Green's sentence.
Green still faces several charges in Monongalia County and Sheriff Al Kisner said he will be brought here to address them at an appropriate time.
He's charged with two counts of malicious wounding and one count each of third-or-subsequent DUI, fleeing while DUI and fleeing.
Green, who was living in Morgantown but was from Oklahoma, has been convicted of DUI five times in Oklahoma from 1998 to 2007, which includes convictions of third-offense DUI and subsequent-offense DUI, according to court records. He had a valid West Virginia driver's license.
Copyright 2013 - The Dominion Post, Morgantown, W.Va.
McClatchy-Tribune News Service