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Repeat DUI offender sentenced to two years in prison - KOAA.com | Continuous News | Colorado Springs and Pueblo

Repeat DUI offender sentenced to two years in prison

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EL PASO COUNTY -

A repeat DUI offender, who hit and seriously injured a 12-year-old girl last summer was sentenced to two years in prison and three years of parole Friday afternoon.

33-year-old Chase Linnerud had earlier pleaded guilty to hitting a 12-year-old Lainey Parsons along Meridian Road in Falcon. He also admitted to leaving the scene of the crash. It all happened while he was apparently driving drunk. 

It was an extremely emotional afternoon in Friday's four hour sentencing hearing, was filled with many, many tears from the two teenage girls involved, as well as the suspect.

The victim's families tell News 5 they are relieved that it's over and their families say they are happy with his sentence.

"I'm happy that I got to see him be taken away because it was a lot of pain that I went through that I feel like he should have to go through," Lainey Parsons, the now 13-year-old victim said.

It's been eight months since Lainey was hit by a drunk driver as she was just walking home from getting ice cream with her best friend Rachelle in the middle of the day.

"We watched her basically be a prisoner for the entire summer and then some, so it did feel like a form of justice to see that," Shayla Parsons, Lainey's mom said.

While Lainey spent nearly a week in the ICU with multiple broken bones, 33-year-old Chase Linnerud spent a night in jail and has been walking free ever since, until Friday.

"It was good, I think, for the girls to see him handcuffed and taken away," Vicki Lingle, Rachelle's mom said.

As News 5 has reported, this was his third DUI offense.

His first was ten years before, but his second was only a month prior in Cripple Creek where his license was not suspended.

"He shouldn't have been on the road," Lingle said.

The maximum sentence for his vehicular assault charge was six years. Instead, he got two.

The judge citing his drunk driving, seriously injuring Lainey, leaving the scene of the accident, hitting a traffic sign and then creating a SWAT standoff after barricading himself inside a home.

"It's not a probation alone type of offense so we were happy even though it wasn't maximum, I agree that a couple years and then hopefully he will be able to change his life," Parsons said.

Linnerud apologized to the girls and their families in tears moments before the sentencing.

"I went through a lot more than he will ever probably so I don't know, I don't really forgive him but I guess it was nice to hear," Lainey said.

While Lainey will have to go through another surgery in a year, both she and Rachelle believe they'll suffer emotional scarring for years to come.

"And they'll be dealing with it a lot longer than two years," Lingle said.

Linnerud will also have to pay court costs and restitution for the nearly $300,000 in medical bills.

His family declined to comment after the sentencing.

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