About 25 people gathered outside the Thurston County Courthouse on Friday to protest after a judge accepted an agreement by the county prosecutor and the attorney for Shaun Goodman, The Olympian reported.
Goodman was sentenced to a year of work release. Under the conditions of his sentence, he can leave to work at his company during the day but must return at night to the Thurston County Jail.
He pleaded guilty to drunken driving and eluding police after the Dec. 29 chase that ended when he crashed his car into a parked car and a home. His blood-alcohol level measured 0.16, twice the Washington state threshold for drunken driving.
During sentencing, Goodman’s attorney, Paul Strophy, noted that his client owns a business and that his employees rely on him to show up for work to make sure the business runs smoothly.
The sentence was a joint recommendation by Thurston County prosecutor James Powers and Strophy.
Strophy said that work release is “not a cake walk or a slap on the wrist.”
“It’s to keep people employed,” Strophy told The Associated Press by phone. “If you lose your job, it puts people in a downward spiral and they return to bad habits.”
With work release, Strophy said, “there’s a stick, but there’s also a carrot.”
The Olympian reported that Goodman’s December arrest was his seventh for driving under the influence, but that two of those cases had been reduced to negligent driving convictions.
Goodman needs to learn to stop drinking and driving, Thurston County Superior Court Judge Christine Schaller said in her acceptance of the sentencing recommendation earlier this month.
“The community’s lucky that you’ve never killed anyone,” Schaller said. “You need to start figuring this out.”
Henry Griffin, a passenger who had accepted a ride from Goodman at a tavern and escaped by jumping from the moving vehicle when it slowed, was among those protesting the sentence on Friday.
“I thought I was going to die, 100 percent,” Griffin said.
While Goodman’s case was pending in January, another judge signed an order modifying Goodman’s conditions of release so he could fly to New Jersey and watch the Seattle Seahawks beat the Denver Broncos in the Super Bowl.
A message left Monday by The Associated Press for Powers was not immediately returned.
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