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72 years for driver who killed Colorado Springs mayor’s son-in-law and another man in crash

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) — The driver who ran a red light in a stolen car in Denver and smashed into another vehicle, killing two men in the other car, was sentenced to 72 years in prison, according to the 18th Judicial District Attorney’s Office.

A Denver district court judge sentenced 37-year-old Jeffrey D. Sloan of Glendale in the June 9, 2019, crash. 

The crash resulted in the deaths of driver Yasir Hasan and passenger Mark Karla. Karla was Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers' son-in-law. 

A jury found Sloan guilty of all counts, including vehicular homicide.

“This is beyond question a horrific tragedy … that never should have happened,” Judge John Madden said in imposing his sentence. “The victims were doing everything that was right and did nothing wrong. No sentence can reflect the magnitude of the lives lost and their value to their families and community.”

In June, Denver Police officers located a stolen Jeep Liberty on the street. When they approached it to investigate, Sloan sped off. They did not chase the Liberty, because of Denver Police policy.

Sloan drove away going nearly double the speed limit, according to the 18th Judicial District Attorney’s Office.

As he ran a red light at the intersection of Colfax Avenue and Colorado Boulevard, he broadsided a Honda Insight driven by Hasan. Sloan got out of the Jeep and ran off.

Hasan, who was 33, died at the scene. His passenger, Mark Karla, who was 45, was taken to the hospital with serious injuries. He later died in the hospital.

Family of both victims were at the sentencing hearing on October 9.

“Mr. Sloan killed my husband,” Karla’s wife told the court. “Every week brings another conversation with our 4-year-old daughter about where her daddy is. … It is impossible to overstate the loss the community feels at these two senseless deaths.”

Hasan’s brother wrote a statement.

“As a family, we try to support each other. … We are trying to fill the empty spaces left behind, but we know that no one can fill his place,” he wrote. “No one can erase the silence that haunts us or take away the pain from our bleeding hearts.”

District Attorney George Brauchler and Chief Deputy District Attorney Brian Sugioka were the trial attorneys.

Brauchler referenced Sloan’s criminal history when he urged the court to impose a lengthy sentence. The charges could have resulted in anywhere from 20-88 years in prison.

The judge sentenced Sloan to 72 years in the Colorado Department of Corrections. 

Crime / State & Regional News

Willis Scott

Willis Scott is an evening anchor for KRDO. Learn more about Willis here.

Comments

8 Comments

  1. It would be interesting to look up this judges record of previous convictions he has handed down to see if he is always so overtly high in his sentencing for all cases involving the death of two people, or if this 72 year sentence was handed down because of the political relationship John Suthers fostered when he served as the Colorado Attorney General.

    I am not advocating for this convicted felon at all, but this sentence seems abnormally high.

    Don’t think so? Without saying life in prison or slow execution while incarcerated, what else would one call a 37 year old being sentenced to 72 years in jail. A 109 year overcalculation? Seems an 8th Amendment case may exist here, especially with the judge not recusing himself and the venue being changed due to the risk of John Suthers being one of the victim’s family members and his prior role as the Attorney General for the State of Colorado.

    1. So I was curious based on your comment. In looking into this crime it appears that the judge could of gone even harder on this guy. He is a habitual offender, He ran from the scene, He killed two people and is was investigated that he wasn’t just speeding but he was trying to reach light speed in a car. Twice the legal speed limit.
      So if you start to add all of them together then 72 years seems light. So just using what I personally feel is rational consequences for this guy (but do note I have had a family member killed by a drink driver so I may be a bit harsh)
      -2 people killed via vehicular homicide with extenuating circumstances(excessive speed) lets call it 30 years for each person. (+60)
      -Reckless driving with excessive speed resulting in a crash. 8 years
      -Fleeing the scene of a major accident with fatalities. 5 years
      -Evading police. 5 years
      -Habitual offender. 10% more time.
      So that is 78 years + (10%)7.8 years = 85.8 Years in jail…. and he got 72.
      Sounds more than fair to me.

      1. Viral Thoughts, you are correct that I did not take into account his priors. My concerns are that, even if this judge was accurate and by the books, not recusing and asking for a change in venue because of the connection to the former Attorney General, now active mayor of COS. Even as Law enforcement is advised if you pull someone over that you know you should call for another officer and a supervisor to take the case so that officer is beyond reproach. If LE has to do this, why doesn’t the rest of the Judicial system. That is my point in contention. Thank you Viral, your are keeping me honest, and I needed to provide further clarification.

        To me, if the Judicial System is going to hand a life sentence, then just call it a life sentence. Because when you hand a 37 year-old a 72 year sentence, more likely than not it will be a life sentence. Even with Parole as a possibility, the parole board will not listen to him for a long time.

        I am sorry for you family’s tragic loss.

      2. ” In looking into this crime it appears that the judge could have gone even harder on this guy. He is a habitual offender, He ran from the scene, He killed two people, and it was investigated that he wasn’t just speeding but he was trying to reach light speed in a car. Twice the legal speed limit.”

        This is not the meaning of “habitual”.

        All these criminal acts occurred in the same incident.
        Research the offender’s record and see if he has a long rap sheet of the same types of offenses.

        Meanwhile, I also agree with seeing if the judge made sure the Suthers family was extra, please.
        I believe in very harsh and long punishments for those who kill while driving drunk, but , we need to see his priors to see if he is a true threat to society, such that he no longer should be a part of it. Justice has to be balanced.

        1. That all depends on the inmate. Many have gone in a terrible person and come out a respectable member of the community. It is all what you do with it. But still never the less there are still two people dead because of his actions.

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