- Associated Press - Tuesday, February 3, 2015

BOZEMAN, Mont. (AP) - A Livingston man who was convicted of drunken driving while on probation for a fatal DUI crash has been sentenced to finish his prison term in the 2001 case.

District Judge Mike Salvagni revoked Aaron Holsinger’s probation Friday and reinstated his previous 20-year sentence for negligent homicide.

Salvagni sentenced Holsinger to 15 years in prison and five years on probation. He gave Holsinger credit for the six months he served in jail in the earlier case and for seven years of probation, meaning he faces 7 1/2 years in prison, The Bozeman Daily Chronicle reported (http://bit.ly/1zaOjJh ).

Holsinger, then 20, pleaded guilty to negligent homicide for the 2001 crash that killed Gina Erickson, of Amsterdam, as the two drove home from a party.

With the support of Erickson’s family, he was sentenced to six months in jail and ordered to speak to youth groups about the dangers of drinking and driving.

“The defendant should be eternally grateful to the Erickson family,” Salvagni told Holsinger in August 2001. “They have not come in here looking for revenge.”

Holsinger spoke at about 50 victim impact panels for underage alcohol and drug offenders, said Connie Campbell-Pearson, executive director of the Community Mediation Center.

But those presentations were devastating to Holsinger.

“I would drink after speeches, sometimes for days at a time,” he said.

Defense attorney Russell Hart asked that Holsinger not be sent to prison, saying his client had been going to treatment, 12-step meetings and church since his arrest last year.

Salvagni called Holsinger manipulative, noting he successfully hid his drinking from his probation officer.

Holsinger was arrested for aggravated DUI in April 2014 in Park County and told the trooper he had been running a pool tournament in Gardiner.

“I lost my freedom over a pool tournament,” Holsinger said, according to the arrest report.

“You knew what the consequence would be,” Salvagni told Holsinger.

“I absolutely did,” Holsinger replied.

___

Information from: Bozeman Daily Chronicle, http://www.bozemandailychronicle.com

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