Jul 28, 2016

Judge Cissna rejects David Lockhart plea for alleged vehicular manslaughter

David Lockhart sentencing was scheduled this morning. Judge Timothy Cissna rejected the plea.

There is a disposition and reset hearing on August 11.

Jul 3, 2016

Conditional plea goes south, tense words exchanged between family members and Lockhart sentencing postponed due to possible form error

Eighteen family members, some crying, one very upset and angry man named "Niko" from the victims in David Lockhart's case attended the afternoon sentencing, only to have it postponed to July 28 at 4 p.m. Mr. Patrik Griego was in court, he represents the Baker family.

Only Lockhart's mother and his attorney, Mr. Russ Clanton were there with him. Deputy District Attorney David Christiansen was present for the People.

Judge Timothy Cissna had privately met with all three attorneys and Mr. Lockhart before the courtroom was opened to the public.

"When I took this plea, it was conditional," said Judge Cissna. "It was my understanding that everyone was on board."

The probation was a limited one since this was a plea agreement, said Judge Cissna. He added, "When I got the victim statements, it stated we are not in agreement, we want you to sentence him to the maximum. Is there full agreement?"

"I think there maybe some confusion," said Mr. Griego. "When probation looked at the case, they saw Mr. Lockhart had two prior DUIs and two prior convictions." Mr. Griego said, "The Probation Department record for Mr. Lockhart was different than what it was thought to be going into plea. They are not happy with the current agreement."

Mr. Griego added that the Probation Department had a problem with the plea because it seems that there were "aggravating circumstances"

"I don't have the information that Mr. Griego has, " said Mr. Christiansen. "The information I have is one prior misdemeanor, a DUI."

"The Court is absolutely right," said Mr. Clanton. "Everyone was okay. There was one DUI 13 or 14years ago."

"At this point no one seems to know if he has one or more prior DUI or not," said Judge Cissna.

Mr. Griego said he could call Ms. Jeanne Kirke at Probation to see where she got the information. Judge Cissna asked if a DA Investigator could look into Mr. Lockhart's record. DA Investigator Steve Dunn was in court and he went up to the office to check.

Court took a break.

Tensions about a plea agreement were so intense that one man yelled at other family members and about four bailiffs had to come to make sure he calmed down and talked with the family's attorney before he was let back in court.

When court resumed, Mr. Christiansen said, "My discussions with the family were based on an evaluation form filled out by my office. A mistake was made. There was confusion about the criminal history portion. I can understand why the family feels they were misled."

Going over a printout he had in court, he said when the defense approached the People with their offer, the person looking at the rap sheet filling out the evaluation form saw alleged welfare fraud and that the first page only showed one prior DUI. The second and third page had more information about another DUI conviction that did not "show up in the main criminal history."

"My position is to refer for a full pre-sentencing report and continue sentencing," said Mr. Christiansen.

"I don't dispute that Mr. Lockhart has other offenses," said Mr. Clanton. "What he and I dispute is another DUI, it was dismissed. This is not a second conviction for a DUI."

"I did contact Probation," said Mr. Griego. "There is the one DUI we know of, it was a conviction." Mr. Griego said that in 1989 and again, in 1996, Lockart had "a wet and reckless."

Judge Cissna said, "I won't reject the plea today. I will re-refer the matter to Probation for a full pre-sentencing report."

Jul 1, 2016

David Lockhart sentencing also postponed until this afternoon due to defense attorney not being in court

Another client found out in court this morning that his attorney, Mr. Russell Clanton, would not be there. David Lockhart's sentencing is also postponed until 1:30 this afternoon.

Lockhart was in court with his mother this morning.

Ten family members and supporters were there for the victims.

Jun 16, 2016

Victim's family members wipe away tears as David Lockhart pleads to lower term for vehicular manslaughter

David Lockhart's jury trial was scheduled to start this morning in Courtroom 4.

Yesterday, the attorneys met with Judge Timothy Cissna in a closed courtroom briefly to discuss offers and a possible plea.

This morning, after DA Maggie Fleming and Deputy DA David Christiansen met with family members of the victim and their lawyer, Mr. Patrik Griego, the attorneys met privately with Judge Cissna.

Court was then opened and Lockhart plead to a stipulated term of 16 months to Count 1, vehicular manslaughter and one year consecutive for the allegation, causing great bodily injury to John Doe.

By agreement, Lockhart was sentenced to the lower term of 16 months for Count 1.
Mid term is two years and upper term is four years.

Judge Cissna went over the plea, the rights Lockhart would give up, possible restitution and fines and advised Lockhart that the sentence was set, could not be greater or lower at sentencing.

Lockhart will serve time in state prison and be on post release community supervision for three years, after release.

Sentencing is July 1 at 8:30 a.m.

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