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Protest occurs for sentence reconsideration for Del Norte man convicted in fatal DUI crash
DEL NORTE COUNTY-Community members protested Monday night after a Del Norte County judge changed his mind and is now reconsidering his original sentence. The sentence was for the former Crescent Elk Middle School Assistant Principal who was found guilty in the deadly DUI crash that took the life of a Klamath man.
On March 3rd, the judge sentenced Coulter Mann to three years at San Quentin State Prison. On Friday, he announced there will be anew sentencing, after the prison officials complete a diagnostic report on Mann within 90 days. At that point, the judge will decide on a new sentence, which will not exceed the original sentence of three years. The family and friends of 67-year-old Kenneth Jones, who was killed in that fatal crash, demonstrated their disapproval of the ruling as Mann checked into custody Monday night.
Family members already did not agree with the judge’s original sentence of three years, after a special allegation of causing great bodily harm was struck down by the judge.
"It was disheartening because of the reality of it. He would only do 50 percent of that time. It would only be a year and a half. I just, for the life of me, cannot, it doesn't justify a life to me. I felt that the justice should have been more," said Kendra Jones, Kenneth Jones’ daughter.
Messages were directed toward the Del Norte County Justice System as well as Coulter Mann.
"Here's a man who killed someone. He was an administrator, a teacher, supposed to teach right from wrong, and just because of that doesn't mean you should get away with killing someone," Jones said.
"We all look to justice, look to the systems that are in place, and are looking for the right things to be done and for things to be handled there. And it appears that things are going in some place that we don't understand," said Loren Bommelyn, a life-long friend of Kenneth Jones.
Family and friends of Kenneth Jones say the beloved father, grandfather, brother, cousin, and member of the Resighini Rancheria Tribal Government would have been proud of them for not backing down.
Family members of Coulter Mann did not have any comments. The judge will decide on a new date for sentencing after officials with the San Quentin State Prison makes their recommendation for a sentence. Mann will be transported to San Quentin in the next few days.