Kevin Michael Jackson was charged with the 2006 traffic death of cyclist Ramon Someros Oberiano. He was sentenced recently to 12 years in prison, but is only required to serve seven of those years.
In April, he pleaded guilty to vehicular homicide and two counts of driving under the influence with injuries. He also admitted to being intoxicated when he crashed his sedan into 39-year-old Oberiano, who was cycling with a group of friends at the time along Route 1.
Superior Court of Guam Judge Arthur Barcinas suspended three years of Jackson’s sentence, noting the defendant didn’t have a prior criminal history. The judge also gave Jackson credit for time served, trimming about two more years from sentence.
In addition, Jackson was fined $3,000 and ordered to complete 200 hours of community service, which the judge said must include speaking to the public about the dangers of driving while drunk. Jackson’s restitution hearing is scheduled for March 20, 2009.
Chief Prosecutor Phil Tydingco told the judge Jackson deserved the higher end of the 5- to 15-year range for the vehicular homicide charge. “This was not a mere accident,” Tydingco said, adding Jackson’s tests showed he had a blood alcohol content of 0.13, above the legal limit of 0.08. “Every Christmas, (friends and family) can never forget what the defendant has done to this family. The children will never be able to spend Christmas with their father again.”
Stephanie Taijeron, the girl-friend of Oberiano, testified a gruesome story of how is body was thrown about 10 feet and landed on her and two other cyclists.
“I can never forget that image,” she said in court. “The scars you left were not just physical but psychological as well.”
Jackson’s mother, Cliftonya Ketchup, flew in from Georgia to speak on his behalf. She described her son as “a good kid” who always supported her and his siblings during tough times in their lives.
Cliftonya Ketchup (Jackson’s mother) asked the judge to sentence him fairly. Jackson was a sailor with the USS Frank Cable at the time of the fatal crash, and Ketchup said she was aware that other military personnel have been involved in fatal crashes in recent years.
Jackson will be eligible for parole after he serves two-thirds of his sentence.