District Judge T. Glenn Ellington has sentenced a Moriarty man to three and a half years in prison for backing into a group of cyclists during a 2018 road-rage incident.  The Judge said Brown would have to serve at lease 85 percent of the sentence because he found the first two charges to meet the threshold of a serious violent offense. “You decided for whatever reason you weren’t done, you wanted to give them a piece of your mind, and the jury decided your actions were criminal,” Ellington said.  Following his prison sentence, Brown will serve a year of probation, during which he must attend a victims’ impact group and anger management counseling.  (excerpted from SF New Mexican article: https://www.santafenewmexican.com/news/local_news/man-gets-prison-time-in-santa-fe-county-road-rage/article_4e0c54ca-4dac-11ea-955d-8be926d401e2.html)

Several reactions:

From Doug:

No winners – The court case against Jacob Brown has finally ended, but sadly, this was a case where no one can claim victory.  Mr. Brown was sentenced today to 3½ years imprisonment, but this doesn’t really represent a good thing. Instead, this case was surrounded by sadness.  It was sad that Mr. Brown felt the need to injure several of us riding our bikes that fateful March 1st.  It was sad that some of us were injured.  It’s sad that the entire group was traumatized by witnessing the event.  It was sad that it took nearly 2 years to come to court.  It was sad to see Mr. Brown’s family, truly in pain with what had happened and to see their family member so accused when they knew him only as a loving family member.  It was sad to see Mr. Brown, finally realizing that this was not going well for him, break down in court.  It was sadder to see Mr. Brown still hoping that the court would see that, in his mind, it wasn’t his fault.  It was sad that we had to speak out and help to put someone into the prison system.  And, it was sad to walk away from the courthouse with a feeling of emptiness, knowing that all this could have been avoided had Mr. Brown not exhibited the road-rage he did, and just gone home.  Perhaps the only winner in this entire ordeal is the bicycling community at large, who were shown that such acts of road rage will not be tolerated in New Mexico, and that we will, at least to some extent, be protected by the courts.  But, the price paid for this victory, was too high, and that’s the saddest fact of all.  Thank you all for being so supportive throughout this ordeal.

From me:  Still a lot to process.  However, I was impressed with the Judges message from the bench.  I wish I had the transcript of what he said because it was very supportive of cyclists.  The Judge said that there was no traffic in the oncoming direction, that we were riding on rural roads, that Mr Brown had the chance to pass, honk his horn and yell at us, and then move on down the road.  But instead he stopped and backed into the group and caused serious injury and that he had to pay a significant price for his behavior.   The Judge was not moved by his family’s statements nor by the attempt of the defense attorney to try to share the blame among all the parties.

From Catherine Rivard:  Brian (Kreimendahl aka BrianKBikeRider) and I were glad to lend our support. We were grateful that the Judge Ellington clearly understood our community and the harm to it, even beyond the harm to the injured, and that he saw Brown for what he is. So very impressed with Ellington’s insight and compassion. Wishing Doug the shortest and least painful path possible through his continued treatment and recovery.

Sadly, there was one loser today.  DonR had his car booted in the nearby El Paso Imports etc. parking lot.  Note to others.




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