Nathan Hall was sentenced January 31, 2001 to 90 days in county jail for the ski collision that killed Denver woodworker Alan Cobb more than three years ago. During the sentencing hearing Hall, 22, showed the first signs of remorse to surface during the court proceedings.
"I grieve about this. I think about it every day," an emotional Hall told relatives and Cobb’s fianceé. This contrasts strikingly to the attitude displayed by Hall directly after the verdict came in – when leaving the courtroom he publicly directed obscenities to Mike Goodbee, prosecuting District Attorney.
Cobb’s fianceé, Christi Neville, was the first to find Cobb bloody and near death after the collision. She observed, "The losses permeate every aspect of my life on a daily basis. I wish that I had heard those words during some of my darkest days, at a time when it would have helped me rather than at a time when it appears to help him." During the 3 1/2 years following the accident, Hall never contacted Neville to express any sympathy or remorse.
Hall’s apparent lack of remorse and subsequent violations of the law were reflected by District Attorney Mike Goodbee’s request for a three-year prison sentence. But Goodbee said he was satisfied with the punishment handed down by District Court Judge David Lass. Judge Lass ordered Hall to serve three years of probation under intensive supervision in addition to the jail time. Hall was also ordered to perform community service and make financial restitution to the family.
Following the hearing, Hall’s attorney said he would appeal Hall’s conviction of criminally negligent homicide. Neville was shocked at this statement,"The decision to file an appeal negates everything they said about accepting responsibility."
The trial has drawn national media attention because of the nature of the charges arising from the ski accident. This is the first case in Colorado where felony reckless manslaughter charges were brought against a skier responsible for a fatal collision with another skier on a slope.
Hall was charged with Reckless Manslaughter, the Colorado statute for which provides as follows: A person commits the crime of manslaughter if: (a) Such person recklessly causes the death of another person. Colo. Rev. Stat. § 18-3-104. The jury found Hall guilty of criminally negligent homicide, a lesser included offense.
The case went to trial after remand from the Colorado Supreme Court. People v. Hall, 999 P.2d 207 (Colo. 2000). Read the Colorado Supreme Court opinion,People v. Hall.
In the prosecution for felony reckless manslaughter regarding a fatal collision with another skier on a slope, the Court, on the People’s appeal from dismissal, held that a particular result does not have to be more likely than not for a risk to be "substantial and unjustifiable"; and the evidence established probable cause that ski racer committed reckless manslaughter by consciously disregarding a substantial and unjustifiable risk that he might collide with and kill another skier.
Amicus Brief, filed by Chalat Law Offices P.C. in People v. Hall, Colorado Supreme Court.
Past results are no guarantee of future results.