31 years in prison for Herrmann - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

31 years in prison for Herrmann

Updated: Nov 28, 2011 03:51 PM CST

LA CROSSE, Wisconsin (WXOW) - The man convicted of a drunk driving killing of a woman is headed to prison for 31 years.

Judge Ramona Gonzalez sentenced Jesse Herrmann to 31 years in prison, followed by 20 years of extended supervision and 20 additional years of probation.

In her sentencing, Gonzalez stated the goal of the sentence was to make sure Herrmann was under supervision until the day he dies.

Herrmann spoke prior to the sentencing.  He told the court he was sorry for his actions.

"I'm very ashamed of what happened, of what I've done," Hermann said. "I know that no matter how many times I say sorry, it won't bring your daughter back or your friend back."

"Our hearts ache to speak with her again, to hear her laugh," said Jeff Kroes, whose daughter Theresa was killed in the crash.

"Theresa's mother and I have said consistently that Jesse Herrmann is the only one who knows if he's really sorry or not," Kroes added. "We certainly hope he is, and that this leads to a change in his life and his behavior. But he's the only one that knows."


LA CROSSE, Wisconsin -- A dozen friends and family of 23-year old Theresa Kroes addressed a full courtroom in front of Judge Ramona Gonzalez Monday -- most of them asking her to penalize 28-year old Jesse Hermann with the maximum prison sentence.

Herrmann pleaded guilty to six felonies, including homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle, in October after his truck collided with a car and killed one of its occupants on June 25 on Highway 35 in Holmen. He had been released from prison a month earlier on drug charges.  He was also convicted of drunk driving in 2005. 

Kroes and four of her friends were in the vehicle. She was killed, but the other four survived and were present at Friday's sentencing.

Kroes' father also addressed the courtroom from the witness stand.

"I'm sure there are many reasons not to give someone a maximum prison sentence," Jeff Kroes said. "For instance, if he or she has shown hope of rehabilitation."

"Jesse Herrmann has shown us no hope. If ever a case was deserving of the maximum sentence, this is it," he added.

Kroes said he conferred with other members of the family, as well as the four young women present the day of the crash, and they've decided that an appropriate sentence would be one that keeps Herrmann behind bars until he reaches an age where they no longer feel he would be able to endanger others through drunken driving.

Their age recommendation was 80 years old.

We'll continue to update this story throughout the day, as well as recap today's sentencing on our 5, 6 and 10 p.m. reports as well as here at www.wxow.com


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