Twenty years for Logan Lage

Logan Lage deserves to spend a long time in prison for his actions that led to the death of an unborn infant two years ago. And he will, thanks to the 20-year sentence given to Lage Friday by Mesa County District Judge Richard Gurley.

But Lage was sentenced on child abuse and assault charges for the death of Lileigh Lehnen. It is unfortunate that, because of a provision in Colorado law, he could not be charged with murder.

Lage was speeding down two-lane Colorado Highway 65 along Plateau Creek, trying to elude police, when he crashed head-on into a vehicle driven by Shea Lehnen on Nov. 6, 2007. The young woman was 8 1/2 months pregnant at the time. She was rushed to St. Mary’s Hospital, where Lileigh was delivered by a Cesarean section. The infant lived briefly outside the womb, but died within a few hours. A coroner’s report said she died as a result of injuries suffered in the crash.

District Attorney Pete Hautzinger tried to pin a murder charge on Lage, but courts determined that Lage couldn’t be charged with murder because Colorado law does not recognize a fetus inside the womb as a person, even if it is capable of living outside the womb.

Hautzinger and others in Colorado have said they want to try to change the law so that it treats infants that are near birth and capable of living outside the womb as humans when criminal acts are committed against them.

We hope that legal effort continues.

No sentence, no matter how severe, can bring back Lileigh Lehnen. But we hope now that Lage has been sentenced, Shea Lehnen and her family will find some measure of closure for their unimaginable loss.


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