5/29/2014 5:08:00 PM Langlois's family asks for unique sentencing: Sanders gets one year in custody
by DENISE MARTIN
A Pine County official referred to the sentencing of Derek Sanders on May 29 as one of the most unique he’s dealt with. Steve Cundy told the Press only twice has he seen the family of a victim ask the judge for a downward departure from state sentencing guidelines. Cundy said the family of a Wyoming MN man, Trevor Langlois-- who was killed in a hit and run incident in June 2013-- told the judge that a lengthy probation period for Derek Sanders would help keep Sanders law-abiding more effectively than putting Sanders in a jail for a long time.
Sanders, 32, was looking at anywhere from 41 to 57 months on a plea to criminal vehicular homicide in the death of Langlois. Judge James Reuter sentenced Sanders to 48 months; but he serves one year in jail and is on probation for nine years, with the other three years stayed. Cundy said restitution will be determined after the Langlois family submits a claim, usually in about 60 days. It is not known where Sanders will be jailed. Langlois, a veteran, died of injuries he received after being hit by a truck as he stood on a Hinckley I-35 freeway ramp, in June 2013. Sanders left the scene. A description of the suspect vehicle was distributed by the state patrol on print and broadcast media and a tip led to Sanders’ arrest. He told the court he didn’t know he’d hit a person.
Cundy also noted that a new state law passed in this recently concluded legislative session will help clear up a motorist’s responsibility in cases like this. The prosecutors weren’t able to prove that Sanders knew he’d struck a person. Under the new law that takes effect later this year, that loophole closes and Minnesota will require that a driver who strikes any object must stop at the scene.