Oct. 18-JANESVILLE - A Monroe man who drove his car into a man who had stopped to help him was sentenced to three years of probation Friday in Rock County Court.
Jasten C. Halvorsen, 22, of Monroe, formerly of Brodhead, had faced charges that included first-degree recklessly endangering safety, hit-and-run and reckless driving. But as part of a plea agreement, the prosecution filed a reduced charge of second-degree recklessly endangering safety.
Assistant District Attorney Mason Braunschweig and defense attorney Walt Isaacson recommended probation. Judge John Wood agreed.
The judge and attorneys all noted how dangerous Halvorsen's conduct was.
The victim and his friends had pulled over July 22, 2020, when they saw Halvorsen unconscious in a car stopped in the westbound lane of Highway 81, according to the criminal complaint.
The victim took Halvorsen's phone in an attempt to stop him from driving in an impaired condition, an argument ensued, and the man gave the phone back.
But then the man stood in front of Halvorsen's car, apparently to stop him from driving, and Halvorsen drove forward.
The man went over the hood of the car, sustaining minor injuries. Halvorsen drove away.
Isaacson said Halvorsen stopped drinking after the incident and got treatment through Green County Human Services.
"I do realize there's really no excuse for the stuff I did, but I am doing my absolute best to turn my life around," Halvorsen told the court.
Wood imposed the probation sentence with conditions including absolute sobriety and treatment to include alcohol and drug treatment and anger management.
Wood remarked on Halvorsen's lack of a criminal record, his job at a cheese factory and his plans to become a plumber's apprentice.
"The dedication to work is something that is, sadly, rare among young people these days," Wood said.
"Whatever it was that caused you to make that incredibly stupid decision, you need to avoid that in the future, or you will find yourself in the criminal justice system," Wood warned Halvorsen.
Not mentioned at Friday's hearing were Halvorsen's conviction for first- offense intoxicated driving in Green County two days after the original incident and charges of driving while revoked and tampering with or driving without a required ignition-interlock device last February, according to online court records.
Halvorsen is scheduled to be sentenced in the February incident, which includes charges of felony bail jumping, Nov. 9.