Aberdeen man sentenced in crash that killed motorcyclist

December 6, 2021 GMT

ABERDEEN, S.D. (AP) — An Aberdeen man has been sentenced to 15 years in prison with five years suspended in a crash that killed a man just weeks away from getting married.

Carson Maunu, 19, earlier pleaded guilty to vehicular homicide in an agreement with prosecutors. Maunu originally faced three felonies.

Maunu was driving a pickup truck last June that crossed the center line on an avenue in Aberdeen, and collided with a motorcycle, killing 27-year-old Casey Kulm, of Groton.

During a sentencing hearing Friday, several relatives of the victim talked about the loss of a family member who was three weeks away from getting married. They said Kulm was studying to become a trauma medic at the time of his death.

“Carson, you are the only one responsible. I pray that someday I can forgive you, but that won’t come without a change in your lifestyle,” said Kulm’s father, Mike Kulm.

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Brown County State’s Attorney Ernest Thompson said Maunu had been drinking alcohol that night and left the scene of the crash. Thompson argued for a 15-year sentence.

Maunu’s attorney Chad Locken argued for a lighter sentence and noted that his client has been going through trauma and grief counseling since the crash, Aberdeen American News reported.

Judge Gregg Magera suspended five of the 15-year sentence he imposed, provided Maunu have a chemical dependency evaluation and complete aftercare recommendations. Maunu’s driver’s license will also be revoked for 10 years starting at the time of his release from prison.