May 16, 2018

An 18-year-old Carroll man who was high on marijuana when he caused a fatal crash in June 2017 was sentenced this week to up to 10 years in prison.

Kizer James Brockman pleaded guilty last month to a felony vehicular homicide charge, court records show. He was 17 when he sped his sport utility vehicle into a gravel-road intersection northwest of Carroll and collided with a vehicle driven by Debra Kock, 61, of rural Carroll, who died.

Brockman failed to stop at a stop sign and was traveling at more than 70 mph, an investigation revealed.

A test of Brockman’s blood showed he was intoxicated by marijuana at the time of the crash. He was charged with two felonies that have a total possible punishment of 35 years in prison.

The more serious of those charges — along with OWI and drug-possession charges for a subsequent arrest — was dropped as part of a plea deal with County Attorney John Werden.

Brockman’s court-appointed attorney asked for a suspended prison sentence, court records show. The attorney argued that even though Brockman was discharged from an outpatient drug-treatment program for continuing to use marijuana, he later sought inpatient treatment that was effective.

“One event, during group, where his counselor verbally cornered him was a watershed moment,” the attorney, Joel Baxter, wrote. “This event, and the insight that resulted, changed his prospects for recovery and got him to understand addiction on a deeper level.”

Baxter sought three years of probation with further drug-abuse treatment.

However, a pre-sentence investigator recommended the prison term, and a judge agreed on Monday.

Prisoners in Iowa typically serve about half of their sentence because they get credit for good behavior. They can also be paroled earlier than that.

Kizer had recently moved to Carroll to live with his grandparents, who are his guardians.