- Associated Press - Sunday, July 19, 2015

MILWAUKEE (AP) - An 18-year-old has been sentenced to 30 years in prison for a February hit-and-run crash that killed a Milwaukee couple a block from their home.

Defense attorneys argued that as Michael Hobbs matures, he will better understand the consequences of stealing a Chevrolet Tahoe and causing the crash.

Milwaukee County Circuit Court Judge Stephanie Rothstein agreed but said the best place for Hobbs to learn those lessons is behind bars, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (https://bit.ly/1Lxces1 ) reported.

“You need a long time to arrive at these conclusions because your conduct was so dangerous and showed utter disregard for human life,” Rothstein told Hobbs at his sentencing hearing Friday.

Hobbs was driving the SUV at speeds up to almost 80 mph in a residential neighborhood when he ran a stop sign and hit a car, killing 74-year-old Bernard Hanson and his 64-year-old wife, Mary. A third vehicle was also struck, injuring the driver.

Hobbs ran away after the crash but was caught by police that night. Six passengers who had been in the stolen Tahoe with him also were arrested.

Rothstein dismissed the defense argument of youth and said no matter how old a person is, stealing a car and driving at that speed is against the law.

“All of these things are pretty common sense,” Rothstein said.

The 30-year sentence included the maximum 15 years for a felony charge of hit-and-run causing death and an additional 15 years for two counts of second-degree homicide. During the first 10 years, Rothstein ordered Hobbs to spend at least 20 hours annually talking to high school students about his experience in an effort to decrease reckless teen driving. After he is released from prison, Hobbs must serve 20 years of extended supervision.

Hobbs did not have a driver’s license. He admitted being high on marijuana at the time of the crash.

“We’re talking about a person who shouldn’t have been on the road,” Assistant District Attorney Antoni Apollo said.


Information from: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, https://www.jsonline.com

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