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Denied 'one last chance,' man sent to prison


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POSTED: Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Carl Cornelle Jr., who killed a 65-year-old woman while high on drugs and alcohol in a 1999 traffic collision, asked a judge yesterday for probation—for the fifth time.

;[Preview]    After 10 Years, Family Receives Justice
  ;[Preview]
 

Driver Carl Cornelle Jr. receives his sentence after killing Arlene Miske in a collision in 1999.

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“;By the mercy of the court, can you please give me one last chance to prove myself and to this court that I can do this?”; Cornelle asked Circuit Judge Steven Alm.

But Alm told Cornelle he had run out of second chances.

“;You have been given numerous chances over the years. For whatever reason, you didn't take advantage of them. So time is up,”; Alm said.

Alm sentenced 50-year-old Cornelle to 10 years in prison for first-degree negligent homicide for killing Arlene Miske in a head-on collision.

“;Finally, justice for Grandma,”; said Maryanne Beatty, Miske's granddaughter.

Alm is the fourth judge to handle Cornelle's case.

The first judge sentenced him in 2001 to five years' probation. The next year, a second judge revoked the probation for illegal drug use and resentenced Cornelle to a new five years of probation.

A third judge revoked that probation two years later, again for illegal drug use, and imposed a new five-year term of probation. That same judge revoked his earlier sentence last year for probation violations and granted Cornelle another five years on probation. He also transferred the case to Alm, who supervises the HOPE Probation program, which more closely monitors offenders than regular probation.

In March, Cornelle was arrested after he was kicked out of a long-term drug treatment program.

As in all his previous sentencing hearings, Cornelle apologized to Miske's family and asked for forgiveness.

At first, Miske's family members said they forgave Cornelle after he promised never to drink or take drugs again. But each time he broke his promise, they said his apologies seemed less sincere and they lost compassion for him. And they began asking the court to sentence Cornelle to prison.