Man Gets 14 Years for Fatal Northland DUI Crash
LIBERTY, Mo. — Jaime Cano’s blood alcohol level was three times the legal limit, and he was speeding at over 100 miles per hour when ran a red light and smashed into a car driven by a Northland man, killing him.
On Thursday, a Clay County judge sentenced Cano, 22, to spend the next 14 years in prison for involuntary manslaughter in the May 2011 death of Michael Clark. In addition, Cano – an illegal alien – will be deported back to Mexico at the completion of his sentence.
Michael Clark was on his way to a Burger King when his car was rear-ended by Cano, who had a BAC of .25 and was driving in excess of 100 mph in a 40 mph zone. Prosecutors said that the impact was so severe that the seat belt and airbags in Clark’s car didn’t do any good.
“It severed his aorta, you know it broke his heart, and all of ours included,” said Joy Clark, Michael Clark’s mother, in court on Thursday. She and other family and friends gave victim impact statements to the judge, each asking for the maximum punishment under law – 15 years.
“He was an illlegal immigrant, he didn’t have a license, he was driving someone else’s uninsured vehicle,” said Clark.
Cano, his voice choked with tears, told the court that he would trade places with Clark if he could. He asked Clark’s family for forgiveness, and told the judge, “I take full responsibility for this involuntary act that I’ve done.”
“What a waste. He killed our son and he wasted his own life, at least 14 years of it, and he’s going to a terrible place,” said Aaron Clark, Michael Clark’s father.
Sentencing guidelines in the case called for six to eight years in prison, but the judge said that given the aggravating circumstances, that wasn’t nearly enough.