Grass Valley man sentenced to year in jail, suspended prison sentence after fatal DUI | TheUnion.com

Grass Valley man sentenced to year in jail, suspended prison sentence after fatal DUI

Susie Bryant and Joshua Robinson both broke down in tears Friday afternoon as Bryant, with her 4-year-old son Hunter standing solemnly next to her, detailed the loss of Dylan Shively at Robinson’s hands.

Robinson, 34, had a blood alcohol content of 0.17% when he rolled his pickup truck on Highway 20 the evening of Aug. 4, 2018. Robinson’s passenger and longtime friend, 35-year-old Shively, was killed in the crash.

“Not a day goes by that my son doesn’t ask for his father,” Bryant told Robinson. “No amount of time you spend will give him back to us. I hope you have learned from this. … We miss him.”

A Nevada County judge had found enough evidence during a preliminary hearing to hold Robinson on charges of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, driving under the influence causing injury, and driving with a blood alcohol content of more than 0.08% causing injury, along with a special allegation of driving with a blood alcohol content of more than 0.15%.

Robinson pleaded guilty Dec. 13 to driving with a blood alcohol content of more than 0.08% causing injury, and was facing a maximum sentence of seven years in state prison. Prosecutors dropped his other charges.

Deputy Public defender Thomas Angell argued for community service, noting that Robinson had no prior criminal record, had completed outpatient treatment and been attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings.

“I’ve seen first-hand how deeply affected he was by this,” Angell said. “He feels immense pain and guilt.”

Project Heart employee Dave Mullan testified that Robinson had been participating in the peer mentorship program, commenting, “He wasn’t just trying to get out of something, he was looking for help.”

Superior Court Judge Candace Heidelberger called Robinson’s case very difficult to adjudicate, noting Shively’s family did not desire a prison sentence but did want Robinson held accountable. She chose to follow the recommendations made by the probation department and sentenced Robinson to four years and four months in state prison, with the sentence suspended. He’s expected to serve 364 days in the Nevada County Jail and then be on formal probation for five years.

“I cannot forget a life was lost, and a very poor decision was made,” Heidelberger said. “There needs to be a fairly lengthy time for incarceration.”

Robinson, who is currently out of custody, is set to begin his jail sentence Feb. 21.

Contact reporter Liz Kellar at 530-477-4236 or by email at lizk@theunion.com.


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