Suspect in Carson City hit and run case receives maximum sentence
The driver involved in a 2013 fatal hit and run was sentenced to prison Tuesday morning, despite pleas from the victim’s family to release the suspect on probation.
However, despite the multiple pleas for probation and rehabilitation, Judge William Maddox decided to sentence John Gelien to a maximum of 15 years in prison. Because of Gelien’s long criminal history and multiple probation revocations, Maddox said it was time Gelien took accountability for his actions.
Gelien was accused of hitting 46-year-old John Boggs in the early morning on Feb. 8, 2013. Boggs was crossing William Street when Gelien hit him with his vehicle. Gelien fled the scene and Boggs died on scene.
Gelien appeared in District Court to be sentenced Tuesday morning and his attorney attempted to persuade the judge to give him several years of probation, citing years of drug abuse. Both the defense and the District Attorney wanted to grant Gelien access to the drug court program with probation to help with his addiction.
Justin Boggs, the victim’s brother also pleaded with the court to allow Gelien to be put on probation instead of prison. He said he forgave Gelien for the accident and the best thing he could do for the Boggs family was to get the help he needed.
“I forgive you,” Boggs said. “What I want you to do is to sober up. I can see there is a good guy in you I am standing here looking you in the eye and I can see it. Let this incident be what leads your life in the right direction. I don’t want to see your criminal history escalate further.
“From the bottom of my heart I encourage you to take this opportunity and that is what you can do. When you struggle know that what you did left a big gaping hole in our heart and let that help you get through it. I have no animosity towards you.”
He also asked the court to have compassion for Gelien and said it should remember the nature of the incident was an accident.
Gelien also expressed his remorse to the loved ones of the deceased in court.
“I am here to face consequences for leaving the scene of an accident that caused a death,” Gelien said. “I know what it’s like to experience that kind of loss. The reason (I) left was because I have never experienced anything that traumatic and I didn’t know what to do. I just want to change my life and help others and become a productive part of society. I’ve thought about it every day since it’s happened. I am just really sorry.”
But Maddox said, “Not going to waste Parole and Probation’s time supervising you.
“Every chance at probation he has failed and I ask, at what point in time do I become one of his enablers? And I won’t be, he needs to understand if he is going to commit crimes he needs to be accountable. He hasn’t taken advantage of that in his lengthy criminal career.”