Dean Carlson, DUI driver, asked for sentence reduction shortly after victim died
Last July, Dean Carlson was arrested after driving the wrong way on a road near Boulder and causing a crash that left Daniel Mays, 28, gravely injured.
Carlson registered nearly triple the legal limit for driving drunk; his record included three prior DUIs.
Mays was in a coma for most of a year before passing away. Soon thereafter, Carlson, who dodged a vehicular homicide conviction because of Mays's will to live, asked for his sentence to be reduced. Really.
Just before 4 a.m. on July 21, 2012, according to the Boulder Daily Camera, Mays was picked up from his job at the IBM campus by his girlfriend, Sean Balog, 23. The pair, accompanied by Daniel's dog, Jelly, were in a black Toyota Yaris, heading south toward Westminster on the Diagonal Highway, when they were struck by Carlson, behind the wheel of a rented Chevy.
Daniel Mays, with his dog, Jelly.
As noted in a now-expired fundraiser for Mays, Balog came away from the collision with relatively minor injuries, and Jelly emerged unscathed. But Mays "suffered a very severe traumatic injury to his brain stem area, along with multiple facial and skull fractures," the post notes.
Carlson sustained some damage as well, as is clear from the mug shot above; a larger version is on view below. Then again, sympathy for his wounds was likely muted by his score on a blood-alcohol-content test: .221, nearly three times more than the .08 standard for intoxication.
He'd made similar mistakes in the past. The Camera reports that he was first convicted of DUI in New York circa 1992, with two more beefs in Texas -- the first in 2005, the second in 2010. He had just gotten his driving privileges back following the most recent of these acts when he ran into Mays and Balog.
The fundraising site describes Daniel like so: "Daniel Mays is a very talented artist. He had been attending Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design but had to take a break before his last semester to save money for school. He was working a full-time job and trying to save money to finish his education when this tragic accident occurred."
Tragic indeed. In the immediate wake of the accident, he seemed to be making small improvements, even managing to breathe without the assistance of a respirator for small amounts of time. And he enjoyed plenty of support from his loved ones -- especially his mom, Robin Konkle, who expressed optimism that Mays would recover during an August interview with CBS4 that we've included with this post.
But a few months ago, Mays died as a result of his injuries.
Had Mays passed away immediately after the crash, Carlson would almost certainly have faced a vehicular homicide charge. In that sense, he caught a break -- although he apparently would prefer a bigger one.
Another photo of Daniel Mays.
Back in November, Carlson pleaded guilty to two counts of vehicular assault while under the influence, plus DUI, reckless driving and driving on the wrong side of a divided highway.
Carlson's current home is the Kit Carson Correctional Facility in Burlington, and given that he was sentenced to fifteen years behind bars earlier this year, he should be there for a while. However, the Camera reveals that he asked for a sentence reduction last month.
Late last week, Boulder District Judge Thomas Mulvahill responded to this request. His answer: no.
This rejection likely doesn't make Mays's friends, family and loved ones feel a lot better. But the opposite decision no doubt would have caused them even more pain.
Here's the aforementioned CBS4 report, followed by two booking photos of Carlson -- one soon after the crash, the other a more recent shot.
Another Dean Carlson booking photo.
More from our News archive: "Drunk driving: How much does it cost to get a first DUI in Colorado?"
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Westword's biggest stories.