Jerry Cain, 57, of Mountlake Terrace couldn’t use his legs and had minimal use of his arms.
He used a wheelchair and depended on a medical transportation company with a state Medicaid contract to take him to kidney dialysis treatments.
In April 2002, the man driving the Pacific Cabulance van didn’t strap down Crain’s wheelchair. The vehicle hit a bump in a road, and Crain toppled over, hitting his head.
The injury led to his death and eventually to criminal charges against the man who was driving the van and the owner of the company.
Snohomish County Superior Court Judge George Bowden sentenced both of them to jail terms Thursday.
The driver, Kelly Anthony Fee, 48, of Marysville, pleaded guilty to third-degree assault. He originally was charged with second-degree manslaughter. Bowden gave him eight months in jail, but Fee will be eligible for work-release.
The owner of the company, Jason W. Moorhead, 35, of Woodinville, will spend 30 days behind bars on his conviction of attempted witness tampering. He won’t get work-release, as defense attorney Jim Lobsenz of Seattle asked.
Mark Roe, chief criminal deputy prosecutor, told Bowden he strongly believes that Moorhead should be behind bars because he orchestrated a “campaign of lies” designed to mask his company’s part in Crain’s death.
He was accused of attempting to get Fee and other employees to lie to police and prosecutors about what happened.
Fee was not supposed to be driving Medicaid patients because he’s a convicted sex offender, and that’s one of the things Moorhead tried to cover up, Roe said.
Lobsenz told the judge Moorhead should not be jailed because he might lose his job as a Woodinville firefighter.
Fee’s lawyer, Caroline Mann, said her client loved his job and liked the patients. She said he did all the right things, calling 911 for emergency help and later went to check on Crain.
“He did everything he could,” Mann said.
Roe said Fee was just lazy for not strapping down the wheelchair.
Both defendants apologized to the Crain family.
Crain’s daughter, Sherry Williams, told Bowden her father was ill but it wasn’t time for him to die.
“We grieve for our father every day,” she said. “All we can do is go to his gravesite.”
Reporter Jim Haley: 425-339-3447 or firstname.lastname@example.org.