Prior crimes mean prison for suspect in fatal accident
Logan Lage was on probation and had methamphetamine in his system when he sped away from police and allegedly caused a head-on vehicle crash with fatal consequences for a pregnant woman’s unborn child, according to court testimony Friday.
The positive drug finding, coupled with Lage’s two prior probation violations for drug use, was enough for Mesa County District Judge Richard Gurley to sentence him to three years in prison.
“I just think an aggravated prison sentence is warranted,” Gurley said.
Lage, 25, has been in the Mesa County Jail since the Nov. 6, 2007, crash on Colorado Highway 65.
His sentence for the probation violation is separate from his criminal case. In that case, Lage is accused of eluding police when his sport-utility vehicle slammed into a vehicle driven by Shea Lehnen, who was 8 1/2 months pregnant, according to Lage’s arrest affidavit.
Lehnen was rushed to the hospital and gave birth by Caesarean section to baby Lileigh Lehnen, who died hours later.
Robert Kurtzman, a forensic pathologist with the Mesa County Coroner’s Office, ruled the baby’s death a homicide and said the baby died from injuries suffered in the crash. Prosecutors agreed and charged Lage with murder, but Gurley dismissed the murder charge because state law does not consider an unborn person to be human. Prosecutors decided to fight the decision, and the matter remains to be decided in the Colorado Court of Appeals.
Lage, who has been in the custody of the Mesa County Jail for 200 days, was credited with those days served for his prison sentence. He will return to Mesa County to face his criminal charges after the appeals court releases its ruling.