December 20, 2016 — Today, Kenneth Kinsella was sentenced to serve a six (6) year term in Community Corrections by Montrose County District Court Judge Mary Deganhart. Mr. Kinsella pleaded guilty to and is convicted of Vehicular Assault – Under the Influence, a class 4 felony.
On September 15, 2015, Mr. Kinsella was driving the wrong way on Highway 550 just north of Chipeta Boulevard while under the influence of alcohol when he struck head on a motorcycle driven by Douglas Brannam. Mr. Kinsella told officers that he had consumed 6 shots of vodka and two beers prior to driving, and that he had gotten hungry and was on his way to a local fast food restaurant.
Mr. Brannam suffered extensive injuries and numerous bone fractures. He had moved with his family to Montrose and had begun practicing as a chiropractor. Due to his injuries, Mr. Brannam is now unable to work as a chiropractor and has been deprived of his ability to repay the costs of his education and provide for his family. In filings with the court, Mr. Brannam describes the horrific pain he experiences every day doing the simplest things all of us take for granted. He describes the frustration of being unable to share in his children’s activities, and missing the simple pleasures of parenthood like teaching them to ride a bike. The Brannam family has been truly devastated by the actions of a DUI driver.
Mr. Kinsella had two prior alcohol-related convictions in Colorado. One in 1992 and one in 2000. He has no other criminal history. He was charged with Vehicular Assault – Under The Influence, and pleaded guilty to this felony charge, which carries with it a possible prison sentence of two to six years. The terms of the plea agreement provided that he could be sentenced to prison for up to four years.
The District Attorney’s Office advocated for and recommended a four year prison sentence in this case. This Office has a long-standing policy that prison terms should be imposed in cases involving serious injury or death resulting from drunk driving. In this case, the probation department also recommended a four year prison sentence.