Jail time, evaluation for high-speed driver in fatal 2010 crash

  • Article by: KEVIN GILES , Star Tribune
  • Updated: February 24, 2012 - 8:11 PM

A National Guardsman sergeant died at the scene when Maplewood man plowed into oncoming traffic.

Giant of a man that he is, Anthony Lloyd Mancheski nevertheless was portrayed by prosecutors Friday as an immature kid who didn't care that he had killed a man.

The hulking Mancheski, at 6 feet 9, looked and sounded small in front of Judge Mary Hannon in Washington County District Court.

"I'm very sad about it, very sorry," Mancheski said in a halting voice before Hannon sentenced him to a year in jail for a high-speed traffic crash that killed Brian J. Jacobson, 34, a full-time National Guard staff sergeant.

Jacobson, an Iraq war veteran, was driving to work from his Dakota County farm on May 3, 2010, when Mancheski's car plowed into him on Hwy. 61 just north of the Hastings bridge.

Mancheski, now 21, told the court that he cried for three days after the crash. He pleaded guilty in November to a felony charge of criminal vehicular homicide.

"I think he has been viewed as, for lack of a better term, a monster. That couldn't be further from the truth," defense attorney Shawn Betts told the judge. "I know he's sorry for what happened and he has compassion and sympathy for the family. He knows he's got to change his behavior."

Whether Mancheski, of Maplewood, drove recklessly because of immaturity or a brain injury he suffered when he was 13 remains unclear. Now 21, he has a large crescent-shaped scar above his right ear that shows through thick black hair.

Jacobson's widow, Ember Johnson, condemned Mancheski for a "catastrophic lack of impulse control." In stark detail, she described looking over her husband's body that was under a red sheet pulled to his chin. "Where did you go?" she remembered thinking.

Two weeks after the crash that killed Jacobson, Mancheski was caught driving 86 miles per hour near the crash scene. He was caught in December 2010 driving 80 mph on Interstate 694, then was cited again for speeding on Hwy. 61 a year after the crash, and last fall was cited in a drunken driving crash in Ramsey County, a case that is pending.

"It's my opinion that Mr. Mancheski still isn't remorseful for what happened that day," prosecutor Imran Ali of the Washington County attorney's office said of the fatal crash.

Hannon ordered a psychological evaluation that she hoped would lead to answers about Mancheski's brain injury. She also sentenced him to jail for a year, followed by 10 years of supervised probation.

He can't drive during probation and must pay $5,000 to cover Jacobson's funeral expenses. Any violations could lead to 57 months in prison, she said.

An 11-minute video that Johnson put together was shown before the sentencing. Images of a smiling, tattooed, red-haired Jacobson, in military uniform and with his family, ended with a photo of his son at his grave.

"You can't repair what you did to that family, but you can change yourself," Hannon told Mancheski before deputies took him to jail.

Kevin Giles • 651-925-5037 Twitter: @stribgiles

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