Drunken driver on his fourth chance
A man who killed a driver in 1999 gets probation for the fourth time
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A man who was high on drugs and alcohol when he killed another driver in a head-on collision nearly nine years ago was resentenced yesterday to probation for the fourth time in Circuit Court.
Carl Cornelle Jr., 49, had his probation from a negligent-homicide charge revoked and was resentenced to five years' probation in 2002 and then in 2004 for using illegal drugs. He was in court yesterday for violating his probation a third time for illegal drug use. The judge acceded to his request for another chance.
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Carl Cornelle Jr., convicted of killing another driver while high on alcohol and drugs, has received a second chance four times.
In 2001 he was sentenced to five years' probation for first-degree negligent homicide stemming from the death of Arlene Miske, 65, on April 26, 1999, when Cornelle's car crashed head-on into hers on Sand Island Access Road. He vowed to stay off drugs or alcohol for the rest of his life.
Then, in 2002 his probation was revoked for illegal drug use, and Cornelle was given another sentence of five years' probation; in 2004 he was back in court for illegal drug use, and he got a new sentence of five years' probation.
Yesterday, Cornelle asked Circuit Judge Richard Perkins for probation, and Perkins granted another five years' probation.
Some of Miske's family members, who were in court yesterday, are upset that Cornelle keeps getting second chances. They had asked Perkins to sentence Cornelle to 10 years in prison.
"How many chances are we going to give somebody?" said Miske's granddaughter Maryanne Beatty.
After the sentencing, Miske's daughter Patricia Mau said, "The court needs to be more credible."
"All I need is just one chance to prove myself that I can go on probation. Either that or go into a residential drug program," Cornelle told the judge.
Perkins revoked Cornelle's probation and resentenced him to a new five-year term of probation. He had revoked Cornelle's probation and sentenced him to a new five-year term in 2004 for drug use. Another judge had done the same in 2002.
Cornelle was the first motorist involved in a traffic fatality to undergo mandatory testing for drug and alcohol use under a new law passed the previous year. He tested positive for both.
One of the terms of Cornelle's original terms of sentencing prohibited him from driving a car and obtaining a driver's license.
Those conditions were not included in later sentences, and Beatty said the family has learned Cornelle had applied for a driver's license three times since then.
Perkins reimposed yesterday the prohibition on driving and obtaining a driver's license.
And instead of normal probation, he ordered Cornelle into the Hope Probation Program, which requires convicts to meet more frequently with their probation officers and undergo more frequent drug tests and imposes immediate sanctions whenever they violate terms of their probation.
"It is usually the last step before we give up on you," Perkins told Cornelle.