Law Changes Maximum Sentence For Laware

By: Lauren Squires Email
By: Lauren Squires Email

After taking their pictures that morning, he took his sons to breakfast. They never made it to school that day.

Monday morning Adam's wife, Melissa, walked into Courtroom 5 at the Sarpy County Courthouse with yet another reminder that her husband is gone. She watched as 28-year-old Jason Laware was sentenced to 15 years behind bars for vehicular homicide. And five years for drunk driving causing bodily injury.

“What I understand they were pleased with the sentence and I think they feel the same way that this is one small step in their recovery that no matter what happened today they're family was never gonna be made whole. Not matter what a judge would do,” attorney Jason Caul said.

With credit for time served, Laware will be eligible for parole after 8 years in prison. Defense attorney James Martin Davis says Laware expected a harsh sentence but this is too harsh.

“But nonetheless without regard to what the sentence would be, that family is gonna suffer for the rest of their life. No sentence is gonna bring them back. And take them back to where they were before,” James Martin Davis said.

Two years ago, this same crime called for a maximum of five years. Now it's a maximum of 20 years.

“This wasn't a second degree murder or manslaughter case, where you kill somebody intentionally upon a sudden quarrel. That carries 20 years,” James Martin Davis said.

It's an issue constantly up for debate in Sarpy County and across the state.

“The legislature seems to do something different every year and yet we still have repeat offenders in the system. We still have repeat offenders in the system. So I think it's a question that's gonna be tough to answer exactly what can we do to stop it, I don't know if it can be stopped but we sure are gonna work hard to reach that goal,” Caul said.

But it’s a goal that doesn't change what happened. A crash that left three children without a father and a wife without her husband.

“It’s unfortunately that it's been just about a year ago. And they have to relive it the first day of school for all their kids. And I think they're gonna have to live it when all those special moments come up that dad's not gonna be there for,” Caul said.

During the sentencing Monday the judge said nobody can get to .3 blood alcohol level without practice. Laware did apologize to that family for his actions and irresponsibility.

The Smith family had no comment at this time.

Nebraska does have different laws the surrounding states. In Iowa here is a mandatory sentence of 25 years with no chance for probation. Kansas on the other hand has a maximum of 172 months. It will vary quite a bit from state to state.

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