LAS VEGAS — An Arizona box truck driver who plowed into bicyclists to a stretch of Nevada highway last December, killing five and injuring four, has been sentenced Wednesday to at the minimum of 16 years at Nevada state prison for driving under the influence of methamphetamine causing departure.
Jordan Alexander Barson, 45, of Kingman, Arizona, apologized Tuesday, during the first evening of an emotional two-day sentencing hearing in Las Vegas, asking forgiveness as he spoke by video in the Clark County Detention Center, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported. His lawyer, Damian Sheets, stated Barson did not intend to cause injury.
“Knowing I caused the deaths of five people and severely hurt two others is unbearable most of the time,” Barson advised the courtroom. “I want you to know that I’m so truly sorry for what I’ve done. I know you will carry this pain forever, and it breaks my heart that I caused this.”
Clark County District Court Judge Bita Yeager on Wednesday acknowledged Barson’s remorse but stuck with the sentence agreed upon when he pleaded guilty in April to two counts of driving under the influence resulting in death.
“You had no business driving,” Yeager told him.
The judge paused, near tears, talked the names of the five bicyclists and cited the impact of the deaths had on”mothers, fathers, siblings, spouses, children, nieces, nephews and grandchildren.”
“Their lives are forever affected because of your poor choice,” she said.
Killed were Las Vegas inhabitants Erin Michelle Ray, 39, Gerrard Suarez Nieva, 41, Michael Todd Murray, 57, Aksoy Ahmet, 48, and Thomas Chamberlin Trauger, 57.