Man convicted in second fatal crash sentenced to 15 years in prison

GREEN COUNTY (WKOW) — A man previously convicted for a 2002 hit-and-run death of a jogger, was sentenced today to 15 years in prison for another fatal crash in the fall of 2017.

Nathan Leopold, 44, also will serve 5 years of extended supervision, Judge Thomas Vale ordered during a sentencing hearing Wednesday. The prison term was the maximum allowed, although Vale could have ordered a longer term of extended supervision.

“I think this is a case that warrants the maximum punishment,” Vale said.

Leopold was also sentenced to 9 months on a second charge, to run concurrent to the prison term.

Leopold pleaded no contest to homicide by vehicle, use of a controlled substance and a second charge of causing injury and operating a vehicle on a controlled substance for a crash on Highway 11 in October 2017 that killed 70-year-old David Leck of Juda and injured his 12-year-old granddaughter, according to online court records.

Leck’s family gave emotional testimony at the sentencing hearing.

“I wish you could feel the pain and heartache that we are all feeling every single day for the rest of our life,” said Teresa Withee, Leck’s daughter. “What you have put us through, what we’re still going through, I not only lost my father I almost lost my daughter as well.”

Withee’s daughter Emily was in the car when Leopold crossed the center line and hit Leck’s car, according to a criminal complaint. She spoke about the experience in court.

“I was so terrified, I could hardly breathe. I remember looking to my left and seeing him, the man who had just hit us. I stared at him and he stared back. As I looked into his eyes, I saw nothing. No remorse, nothing. I saw a cold-blooded killer.”

A criminal complaint shows Leopold had admitted to smoking marijuana, had synthetic marijuana in his system and a small amount of alcohol. Authorities say drinking alcohol violated terms of his probation.

Four charges against Leopold were dropped as part of a plea deal: homicide by Intoxicated use of a vehicle, causing injury – operating while under the influence, possession of synthetic cannabinoid and possession of drug paraphernalia, court records show.

Leopold sat quietly during the family testimony and spoke briefly before the judge prepared to deliver a sentence.

“I’m sorry that I’ve caused so much pain to these people,” he said. “I accept responsibility for what I’ve done and I know it doesn’t help but I am sorry for what happened.”

Leopold, was convicted in Dane County of a 2002 hit-and-run that killed 28-year-old Aimee Kubler as she jogged along a highway. He was on probation but was back in prison after a bail violation.

Leck’s family used that history to push for the maximum sentence.

“You were given so many chances; a chance to change, a chance to grow, a chance to make a difference and all you did was tear a hole in more hearts than mine,” said Leck’s granddaughter Madalyn Leck.

Kubler’s parents were also at the sentencing to show support for Leck’s family.

“I wanted him off the street,” said Bonnie Stamm, Kubler’s mother. “I don’t want him to be able to drive again. At least if that could happen, then maybe people would be safe because I’m not sure that he won’t do this again.”

As part of the sentencing, Leopold’s license will be revoked for five years.

Leck’s daughter says she hopes the family can now begin to heal.

“We haven’t been able to because every time we start making a little progress we’re right back to discussing it again and going back over all the details and trying to make it a point so that he doesn’t hurt anyone else,” Kori Sagen said after the sentencing.

More at WKOW 27 News

Sponsored Content

Sponsored Content