A Kansas State Graduate student in the college of veterinary medicine has been given a downward departure from his original plea deal by a Riley County judge after he plead no contest to the involuntary manslaughter while driving under the influence of two Ogden residents.
In May of 2012 Miles Theurer killed Micheal Stanley and Elizabeth Young in a head-on collision as he drove back with friends after a night of drinking on K-18 just outside of Manhattan. He subsequently plead no contest to two counts of involuntary manslaughter while driving under the influence of alcohol.
In a standing room only court room on Monday afternoon Riley County Division I Judge John F. Bosch informed the court that he was giving Miles Theurer a downward departure of the normal sentence for the offense. Theurer will receive 60 days of jail time in the Riley County Detention Facility, and 36 months under house arrest. During the 60 days of jail time Theurer is directed to create a written plan to conduct outreach to prevent more drunk drivers from killing, and conduct the presentation no less than 36 times during his time under house arrest. Theurer is free to go to college classes, and continue his academic progress after he serves his initial 60 days.
Judge Bosch informed the court he believes Theurer’s case is atypical, and deserving of a downward departure due to the combined weight of a number of factors. Some of those factors put forward by Judge Bosch include Theurer’s total lack of a criminal history, and academic prowess. Judge Bosch read aloud portions of the letters the court received in support of Theurer… including one from the Dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine Doctor Ralph Richardson.
Judge Bosch says given all of the factors, and the remorse of Theurer, he believes the better benefit for society would entail Theurer conducting outreach. Judge Bosch says even if he prevents even one potential drunk driver it will be worth it.
Family of the victims informed the court of the impact of the loss of Stanley, and Young. Those included the suffering of four children left behind by the accident.
After the verdict the several of the victims family members were visibly distraught, and one member couldn’t restrain an angry outburst outside of the courtroom after court adjourned.
Judge Bosch recognized his sentence would likely be unpopular, and admonished Theurer that he now had a debt to society. Judge Bosch says he hoped Theurer would never touch another drop of alcohol again, or he would make a mockery out of the justice system.