A woman ran sobbing from the courtroom Tuesday before the judge could utter the entire sentence for the man convicted of causing her husband’s death in a drowsy driving crash in 2014.
Kalin Menlove-McGinni, 25, was ordered to spend 365 days in the Cache County Jail, with credit for time served and work release after six months on the conviction of attempted manslaughter, a third-degree felony.
“This isn’t a case of a person who was up and down with a sick child one night or who didn’t get a good night sleep … this man knew he was a risk but chose to get behind the wheel anyway,” said Cache County Victim Advocate Terryl Warner. “Co-workers warned him but he didn’t listen, and as a result, a man died; a man who was a husband and a father of three kids. His family suffers every single day with their loss.”
Menlove-McGinni was driving home to Preston on Sept. 25 after working the night shift and sleeping just three hours in a 72-hour period. His coworkers tried to get him to get some sleep before he went home, but he insisted he could make the drive.
According to the Utah Highway Patrol, Menlove-McGinni rear-ended a Jeep in the northbound left-turn lane at the intersection of State Route 61 and State Route 91.
The impact forced the Jeep into the southbound lanes, where it was then struck by an oncoming truck.
The driver of the Jeep, 42-year-old Leigh Purser, was killed as a result of the crash, leaving his wife Monica to raise their children alone.
According to defense attorney Camille Neider, Menlove-McGinni suffers from a mental condition that was undiagnosed at the time of the crash. Among other things, this affects his need for sleep, she said.
She asked the court to stick to the 120-day jail sentence recommended by Adult Parole and Probation, but prosecutor Spencer Walsh was pushing for a prison sentence of zero to five years.
During sentencing Tuesday, Judge Kevin Allen acknowledged the sentence imposed might sound offensive to the Purser family and said it wasn’t meant to be.
“What we do in the courtroom does not take place in a vacuum — there is real-life pain outside of the courtroom, and what we do here cannot relieve the pain,” he said.
In addition to the jail time, Allen ordered Menlove-McGinni to complete 60 hours of community service, to include pubic presentations about drowsy driving. He has also been ordered to complete a victim empathy court, moral reconation therapy and a mental health evaluation, along with the recommended treatment.