Reporting Bill Hudson
STILLWATER (WCCO) — In a packed Washington County courtroom, family, friends and fellow guard members of 34-year-old Brian Jacobson made certain that justice would be served.
Minnesota Army National Guard Master Sergeant Jacobson had served two tours of duty with the 34th Infantry Division and was back home on his Lake City farm.
However, on the morning of May 3, 2010 a Maplewood man, Anthony Mancheski, now 21 years old, was driving at speeds up to 89 mph and smashed into Jacobson near Hastings. Jacobson was killed instantly, leaving behind a wife and two children.
Mancheski was later charged with criminal vehicular homicide and agreed to a guilty plea. After Mancheski’s sentencing, Ember Johnson, Brian’s widow told reporters, “in all the quiet times, the pain is really deep, and forever.”
Mancheski’s guilty plea spared the family a difficult trial. While family members spoke of Mancheski’s lack of remorse for his reckless behavior, they supported the plea deal worked out by prosecutors.
Washington County Attorney Pete Orput explained, “the victim’s family did have some say in it and they asked that we not send this young man to prison. We took that into account.”
Victim’s impact statements and an emotional 11-minute video tribute captured the family’s pain. As photographs of Brian with his family, farm and fellow soldiers played on the screen, Judge Mary Hannon would contemplate the final sentence.
Mancheski will serve one year in the county jail and 10 years under supervised probation. Should he not follow the strict terms of his probation, he would be sent back to prison for up to 57 months.
“Justice has been served as best justice can be served, but Brian will never come back,” said Jacobson’s mother, Cathy.
As for the sense of loss felt by Jacobson’s widow, Ember Johnson says it never goes away.
“You find a safe place, and you kind of make friends with it, but it never goes away,” said Ember.
Mancheski was taken into custody to begin serving his one year in jail. When he’s completed that, he’ll be on supervised probation for 10 years, and have no drug or alcohol use.
Any violation of the terms would put him back behind bars to complete the 57-month stayed sentence.