Fresno family sees no justice in court
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- An angry family sees no justice in court. The 18-year-old drunk driver who killed Shawn Schulte is headed to prison, but only for a short sentence.
A judge sentenced Austin Jantz to two years in prison for negligent vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated. The maximum sentence for Jantz was just four years in prison, and when the judge decided to hand down a two-year sentence, Schulte's family said there was no justice.
Schulte's promising life ended here in January of this year. The 20-year-old was hit and killed as he walked home from a party in East Central Fresno.
"A young life was taken and I think that's horrible, but it wasn't an intentional act," said defense attorney James Wasson.
Wasson defended the drunk driver who killed Schulte. 18-year-old Austin Jantz had a blood alcohol content of 0.15 at the time. The victim's family says the short sentence for Jantz gives them no relief, but it could give them a purpose.
"What comes in the future with drunk driving laws in California, it needs to change," said Amber Hauschel, Schulte's aunt. "It needs to change. And maybe we will be a voice for that, but right now, we just have to heal."
What happened in court Friday didn't help the healing process. Jantz did tell Schulte's family he was sorry for what happened, but they thought the apology sounded insincere. They also believed his attorney was disrespectful.
Wasson definitely reacted angrily when an Action News reporter pointed out that the judge didn't buy his defense that Jantz was fleeing an angry mob when he hit and killed Schulte.
"Everybody who's saying he has a lack of remorse, hey, that was a party where everybody was underage, was drinking, including the victim and my client was being chased by a guy that's 270 to 300 pounds and is almost seven feet tall. I disagree with that," Wasson said.
"The judge said he didn't believe that, though," said an Action News reporter.
"A person testified that Mr. [Hollis] Roberts was chasing my client," Wasson replied. "Maybe you don't recall the L.A. riots where that poor man was drug out of his truck and beaten. Think about that. Thank you. Thank you. Go **** yourself."
Mr. Wasson actually encouraged us to include his angry tirade in the story because he said it would get him more clients. His client Friday, Austin Jantz, could be out of prison in less than a year, before his 20th birthday.
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