Last summer, a Denver driver crashed into people at a bus stop near Colfax and Josephine, injuring the bystanders. Mark Skipper, the driver, pled guilty to vehicular assault, third degree assault and violation of bail bond conditions. Skipper is being held in custody pending sentencing. He faces mandatory prison time and is scheduled to be sentenced on April 4.
Vehicular assault and violation of bond conditions are felonies. Third degree assault is a misdemeanor. Skipper must have been out on bond when he committed the assaults, which gave rise to the violation of bond conditions. In addition, if he was charged with felony level violation of bond conditions, then he must have been on bond for a felony offense when he committed the assaults. The violation of bond conditions charge is the reason Skipper is facing mandatory prison time. While vehicular assault is a felony punishable by prison time, there is no mandatory prison time.
The third degree assault charge is not punishable by prison, but rather, is punishable by jail time. The court may impose jail time for the third degree assault and have it run concurrent with any prison time, meaning Skipper would be serving his jail sentence at the same time as his prison sentence. A significant difference between a prison sentence and a jail sentence is the mandatory parole that must follow a prison sentence. In contrast, there is no mandatory parole or probation sentence that must follow a jail sentence.
Skipper likely was not sentenced today because the court ordered a pre-sentence investigation report. This is a report that contains various information designed to help inform the judge about the defendant to help the judge decide what type of sentence to impose. In certain types of cases, a PSI is required by law prior to sentencing. In other cases, the judge, the prosecutor and/or the defense may request a PSI even though it is not required.