By Carol Harper
Two former Sacramento State football players who went on a rock throwing spree last November were sentenced Monday to prison and jail by Amador Superior Court´s Judge David S. Richmond.
Brendan DeLapp was denied probation and sentenced to five years in state prison. DeLapp had previously pled guilty to felony assault with a deadly weapon and four counts of felony vandalism.
DeLapp´s accomplice, Westy Guill, was sentenced to four years and eight months in state prison. However, the execution of that sentence was suspended, giving Guill a limited opportunity to perform up to five years felony probation.
Guill will have to serve one year in county jail, pay restitution and, after being released from custody, participate in a community service program where he will speak to youth groups about how bad choices can hurt others and ruin their own future.
On Nov. 9, 2005 DeLapp and Guill were returning to Sacramento from the Jackson Rancheria on Highways 49 and 16 when they tossed numerous rocks out of their vehicle at oncoming vehicles. One of the larger rocks broke the windshield of a vehicle driven by Jackson Rancheria employee Parish Compton, causing serious injuries to his lower jaw and neck.
The defendants threw rocks that struck 22 vehicles in all, causing $24,497 in property damage.
During the sentencing hearing, Compton, his wife, Caryn, and his supervisor at the Jackson Rancheria, John Spencer, all addressed the court regarding the impact that Mr. Compton´s devastating physical and emotional injuries had caused upon him, his family and his colleagues. Vandalism victims Colleen Baltzer and Thomas Kimball also told the court how the defendants´ crime had impacted them.
Both DeLapp and Guill also spoke, apologizing for their conduct and expressing remorse for their crime against Compton and the other victims.
Following oral arguments by the defendant´s counsel Pat McCarthy and Amador County District Attorney Todd Riebe, Richmond denied probation for DeLapp, the defendant that threw the rock which injured Compton, and imposed the five-year prison sentence.
Riebe felt the sentencing was fair and understood Richmond´s sentence “given the unique facts and circumstances as to the role each defendant played in the crime,” he said. “This case is a tragedy for all concerned. First and foremost, it is a tragedy for Mr. Compton, his family and the 21 victims of these senseless acts.”
Parish´s mother, Glenda Compton, told the Ledger Dispatch that she felt the sentencing was just. “We´re glad it´s done. We´re happy with the outcome,” Glenda said. “We feel like we can move on a little now.”
When asked about Parish´s progress, Glenda replied, “It´s been an emotional roller coaster for him,” she said. Parish has had three surgeries thus far, the most recent performed more than a month ago that required a bone graft from his hip to reconstruct a jaw bone.
Glenda said that doctors are unsure how many more surgeries Parish will need to undergo. “It´s been really hard, but he´s doing good and he´s glad it´s over, too.”
Because Compton´s medical procedures are still ongoing, the issue of restitution was postponed until such time that a more solid figure of total loss could be arrived at. As of March, Compton´s medical losses alone were more than $300,000.
“Both of these young men tossed away a very bright future in a single moment of stupidity,” Riebe said. “This case should be a big eye opener for our young people, that there can often be severe consequences for making poor decisions. Kids need to think before they act.”
Reprinted with permission from the Amador Ledger Dispatch