Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Transcript of my speech to the Judge

I have spent the last 6 months thinking about what Mark Nigon has done to my wife and I. I have spent this time thinking about how he was out on bail the morning after he almost killed me. How he never once tried to tell me that he was sorry for his actions. How he has made our lives a living hell ever since by making civil action difficult while my wife and I have been thrown into financial turmoil. Mr. Nigon has completely torn my life apart. While I have struggled to pick up the pieces and rebuild my life Mr. Nigon has been able to plead out of half of my case and all of my wife's case. Mr. Nigon has skillfully avoided a large majority of the consequences that should have been associated with the violent and highly negligent acts that he has inflicted on my wife and I. We feel that this is the last opportunity that we have to see justice served.
When preparing to come here I consulted several legal professionals and the D.A. assigned to the case. All seemed to think that this man, Mark Nigon, deserved the stiffest penalties available for his crime, but made it clear that he had some leverage that he could use to receive a reduced sentence. Mark Nigon is going to come to the stand today and tell you about what a good upstanding man he is. He is going to tell you how he is a good church going man. How he is a family man. How he needs to care for his three daughters and his wife. How he needs to keep the mortgage on his house. All of these things are considerations that Mr. Nigon should have taken before making the decision to drive drunk on the evening on July 1st and nearly ending my life.
Please, I beg you do not allow Mr. Nigon to receive anything less than two years in jail. Mr. Nigon has given injuries to my wife and I that will be with us for the rest of our lives, physical emotional and psychological. It is not to much to ask that he sits in a cell and thinks about it for two short years. It is of a huge concern to me that Mr. Nigon's family can even be taken into account during the sentencing process. It makes me wonder, if he had done the same thing and was a single man would his sentence be harsher? Mr. Nigon should not be allowed to use his family situation as a get out of jail free card. The consideration for sentencing should rest alone on his individual actions and the violent damage that he has wrecked on my wife and I.
On the Evening of July 1st I was out drinking at a local bar with a friend. I became very inebriated and decided that I should call my wife for a ride home. This type of behavior I had always assumed was common knowledge and common courtesy to your fellow citizens. This particular night I was proven wrong. Mark Nigon a 41 year old pipe fitter was out at a friend's house this holiday weekend celebrating our countries independence as I was. He unfortunately did not have the common sense or intelligence to call for a ride. Mark Nigon jumped into his Dodge RAM 2500 with a Blood alcohol level in excess of .20 and proceeded to drive down the wrong way on a one way street while evading the police. He hit my car head on.
As a result of Mr. Nigon's violent recklessness I suffered extremely severe injuries. My hip was broken in three places, my pelvic sockets each had fractures, my pubic bone was separated, I had compounded tibia and fibula fractures that required my right leg to be rebuilt with titanium rods. Nearly every bone in my right foot was broken and a piece of the car actually spiked through my right foot and speared it. My left foot and left leg suffered non-displaced bone fractures. My pelvis was tilted and although I under went nearly 8 hours of surgery total in order to correct all of my injuries, there are still maladies that I will have to live with for the rest of my life. My left leg is slightly turned outward due to the pelvic tilt. I have constant pain in my pubic region, left hip, right leg during weather and pressure changes. My right leg is a little longer than my left which will cause me to walk with a limp for the rest of my life. I get frequent severe headaches as a result of the closed head trauma that was incurred. The last time I was in this room, Mr. Nigon's Lawyer stood before this court and said that he believed that I suffered "a broken leg, and a slight hip fracture" and "that it was an unfortunate accident." Well as you can tell from what I just told you, my injuries were much more severe. So severe that they put me in the hospital for nearly a month and required physical therapy that has continued even to this day. To Mr. Nigon's lawyer, "Unfortunate accident", shame on you, it is clear that you have not given this case the appropriate amount of time to understand the facts of the case. This accident was clearly avoidable. Call a cab, a friend or your wife. Mr. Nigon is here to plead for his freedom. Mr. Nigon would like to get out of what he did to us with no punishment at all, but I submit to you if some other drunk had caused the same type of damage to Mr. Nigon's wife or children that he has caused to my wife and I then Mr. Nigon would be up here where I am begging that that man be put away.
In addition to the physical, emotional and psychological damage that this accident has caused, It has also left my wife and I in a state of financial distress. We had to use our entire savings in order to live. Then we dipped into our honeymoon fund that we had started to build up. We were married just three months before this incident, in this very building. Currently we are left in a state of financial bliss, due in part to the massive amount of financial burden, paired with my inability to work and my wife being forced to quit her job to take care of me, and Mr. Nigon and his lawyer avoiding our phone calls regarding any type of financial settlement. We are currently in very serious danger of having our home foreclosed upon. The bill collectors do not stop calling, and our taxes are going to put an even further strain on us at the end of the year. It may take us many years to get back to the position that we were before this violent act occurred, and our credit rating will be affected for an even longer time.
Our dreams of starting a family and owning a home have been destroyed. Julies ambitious collegiate career has been slowed to a grinding halt. My newly established poor credit may effect my ability to receive the quality employment that I could have received before as an independent contractor.
It is difficult for me to accept the terminology "accident" when it is used for what Mr. Nigon did to my wife and I. He willingly drank. He willingly drove drunk and he willingly refused to pull over when the police started to chase him. His conduct of resisting the officers even after he hit us and I was right next to him trapped in my car, screaming in pain, and waiting to be cut out with the jaws of life, is simply unforgivable. Every aspect of what occurred was entirely avoidable.
Please do not let Mr. Nigon use his family situation as a consideration to reduce his sentence. I beg of this court to give him the most severe punishment available. I beg of this court to serve justice. I beg of this court to send a clear message to Jefferson county and the state of Colorado that driving while intoxicated will not be tolerated and that if you injure someone in the process for the first or 5th time that you will be punished severely.
One other consideration that I would like for the court to take is in regard to Mr. Nigon's eventual release from jail or prison. I think that it is important that Mr. Nigon, if ever allowed to drive again, has a device installed in his vehicle that would require him to blow into it and register a 0 Blood alcohol level in order for the car to start. That is all, thank you.

Tonight on court T.V.

Mark Nigon has received two years in jail for what he did to my wife and I. We are extremely happy with this decision. Although he probably deserved even more, I feel that the judge was fair in considering all of the circumstances. It is clear to me that even after being sentenced that Nigon did not comprehend the severity of what he did to me! He said, in court, that he wanted to do everything that he could to make this right, yet he is still fighting the civil case. My wife and I are about to lose our home, but he wants to keep his. This of course does not seem fair to me. Nigon's Lawyer had to ask for an extra 5 minutes to review the case. He had not even looked at the court documents before the case. He was completely ignorant of many of the facts and in the end he actually ended up hurting Nigon more than helping. Money well spent huh? My wife and I were able to speak in front of the judge and I genuinely feel like our views were taken into consideration. When Nigon asked for house arrest the Judge responded by saying that he couldn't even consider anything less than jail time, given the horribly violent and negligent nature of this crime. Nigon, on three separate occasions made it a point to tell us that he prays for us every night. Well as I have mentioned before to so many others…STOP PRAYING FOR ME!!! Nigon thought that he might be able to win our favor by showing us what good upstanding Christian he was. If Nigon really wants to make things right, then he needs to sell his home and set our finances straight. We are heading down the tubes fast. When Mr. Nigon was sentenced they cuffed him and took him away, directly from the court to jail. He is so fat that they had to use two pairs of handcuffs to get his hands behind his back. My wife, lawyer, paralegal, a M.A.D.D. rep, the victim witness advocate, the D.A. and myself were sitting in the courtroom after the sentencing discussing some business when Mr. Nigon's wife came over to us sobbing and apologized for what her husband did to us. We thanked her and she left. I genuinely feel sorry for her. Mr. Nigon's wife and kids are just as much victims of his horrible crimes as we are. I will try to do my best to see that they are not punished to severely, due to his actions, in the civil trial. When all is said and done though, I feel really good about the way that the day turned out. I may even find it in my heart to forgive Nigon. Who knows, under different circumstances I might have even had a beer with him. But for now, he needs to sit in his cell and realize how wrong his actions were. He has two years to figure it out.

My letter

Judge: Christopher Munch
Prosecutor: Timothy Lane
Case # 30 06CR02289

The day was July the 2nd. Life was going good for me. I had just married the love of my life a little over three months earlier. I had just landed my dream job, with a great starting salary and work that I enjoy. Little did I know that it was all going to be torn apart by a careless drunk.

The evening of July 2nd I went to a bar in Englewood CO called Blondie's Firehouse to have some drinks with my Co-Worker and friend Justin T. We were partying up a storm and had both consumed excessive amounts of alcohol. I was ready to go home, but realized, even in my inebriated state, that I was far too drunk to drive myself home. I decided that it would be best to call my wife who would be getting off of work soon and ask her to come get me. My wife (Julie) showed up at the bar as Justin T and I were just finishing off a plate of greasy nacho's and jalapeƱo poppers. We hung out for a while, talked and dared each other to sing Karaoke. Then it was time to go. The last thing I remember was walking out the door, and then waking up in the hospital two days later!

When I awoke I instantly knew that something was wrong. I was in a strange room, with many strange people and a few familiar ones. I could not feel my body and everything was incredibly hazy. When I tried to speak, I knew what I wanted to say but it came out garbled. I kept asking what had happened to me. Someone would tell me and a few minutes later I would forget. So I would ask again. Eventually I was able to retain the information.

Although I had been responsible and called for a ride home I would end up suffering worse consequences than had I attempted to drive myself home in my drunken condition. A careless drunk by the name of Mark Nigon had been drinking this Fourth of July weekend as well. He had decided that it would be a good idea to try to drive drunk from Lakewood CO, to Monument CO. This is approximately 80 miles away. Well Mark Nigon Did not make it even more than a mile away from his friend's house. In his drunken stupor he had turned off of Florida Ave and misjudged the median that separates Kipling. He began driving down Kipling going the wrong way and did not even realize that anything was wrong until the cops turned on their lights behind him and started chasing him. Mark Nigon, proceeded to flee from the cops by continuing around the bend at Kipling. Unfortunately we were coming the right way down the same stretch of road. My sober wife driving and myself drunk in the passenger seat, were drunk people should be. As the accident occurred on a blind corner my wife only had a second to react to Mark Nigon coming straight at us. She quickly swerved avoiding a head on collision. The result was Mark Nigon T-boning our Jeep Wrangler with his Dodge Ram 2500 and pinning me into the Jeep.

Nearly every bone in my right leg was broken, I had closed head trauma, my left foot was fractured and my right foot was shattered with pieces of metal sticking though it. I also sustained three hip fractures and two pelvic socket fractures. As I sat in the Jeep Screaming in pain and agony, one officer went to arrest Mark Nigon and the other went to stop Julie from her futile attempts of prying the shredded metal off of my broken body. Mark Nigon had a B.A.C. in excess of .20. An hour later the Paramedics would be able to pry the Jeep off of me and rush me to Swedish Medical Center, where the real pain and suffering could begin.

I awoke in I.C.U. to the site of my loved ones hovering around my bed crying. I was desperately trying to figure out what was going on through the haze of synthetic morphine, oxycontin, and perkeset. Doctors kept coming into the room and asking me questions about what kind of treatments I preferred. To me it sounded like they were speaking in a gibberish comparative to the adults in a Charlie Brown cartoon. Eventually I asked my wife to just make the decisions for me as she was the only one I trusted at the time.

I.C.U was actually the easiest part of being in the hospital. There was enough pain medication to drown out the pain of multiple fractures and over 6 hours of surgery. The real trauma started after I was stabilized and moved to the multi-trauma unit. In trauma they start to cut the pain meds back and they also start to move you little by little. I remember one time the doctors came in and said that they needed to clean me because I had soiled myself. They told my mom to leave the room. I told them "no, she stays." I made her come over and hold my hand. I looked at her and said "this is going to hurt." They began to move me and the pain was so intense that I went into shock. My heart stopped momentarily and I was technically dead.

Events like this were not all that uncommon over the next month. I laid in bed waiting to heal, wondering what my life would be like, wondering what my relationship with my wife would be like, wondering if I would ever walk again, wondering if my job would still be there for me, wondering if my newly bought home would be foreclosed on, wondering when the pain would end. The pain seemed unending and I couldn't take it anymore. I devised several ways that my wife could kill me and I asked her repeatedly to execute them. I was not thinking about the effect that these requests would have on her. At the time I was just trying to figure out how to end the pain. I gave up on life. I stopped eating; I stopped responding to the nurses and doctors. I was angry at my wife for refusing to kill me. All I wanted was to die and have all of the pain and suffering be over with.

My wife never left my side and as a result she was forced to quit her job. As a result of this our financial situation was thrown into turmoil. Our bills became past due. Our house came into real danger of being foreclosed upon. All the while Mark Nigon had been released from jail the day after the accident and was enjoying his wife and his family from the comfort of his newly bought home in Monument. The price of his bail was only $5000 which means that his wife only had to post $500 to get him out. Never once did Mark Nigon call to apologize for his actions. Never once did he send flowers that said I am sorry for what I did to you. Never did I receive a phone call from his family. Never did I receive a message saying that Mark Nigon was going to help us out financially for the turmoil that he had caused us. What Mark Nigon did do was spend his money hiring a lawyer to plea down his criminal charge. He hired one of the best attorneys in civil cases to protect his assets before I even made it to the rehab unit of the hospital. Even now with proof of nearly $200,000.00 in medical expenses caused directly by Mr. Nigon's carelessness, he still fights us so as to give us as little money as possible, while we wallow in the financial, physical and emotional turmoil that he created for us.

Mr. Nigon could easily sell his house and take care of our medical expenses and still have plenty of money left over to put a down payment on a smaller house, but he is set on continuing to watch us struggle just to get back to where we were before he took everything away from us.

Eventually, while Mr. Nigon was busy protecting himself I was moved to the Rehab unit of the hospital. This is were the real pain was about to begin. As my pain medication was being cut I was being forced to move more and more. Often times the pain would be so intense that I would pass out and break out into cold sweats. Every time I was in the wheel chair for more than a couple of minutes at a time I would get weak and struggle to get back into bed where I would promptly pass out from exhaustion.

After about a month I was cleared to leave the hospital and go home. I still needed a physical therapist and a nurse to make frequent home visits. I needed to hire a lawyer to deal with the massive amount of bills and bill collectors calling me and harassing me about paying my medical bills. I just couldn't understand why these bills were coming to me, it seemed like they should have been sent to Mark Nigon, but this is not the way things work. I was in a wheel chair and the people from my work were kind enough to build a ramp on the steps to my house so I could get in and out. They brought all of the furniture from my bedroom upstairs, down into the living room for me so that I could sleep on my bed. To add insult to injury, during this time my cat got out and was killed by a wild animal. My wife was in intense pain and would wake up screaming (this still occurs) every night from the nightmare of the accident. We removed the door to the bathroom so that I could squeeze my wheel chair in there to use it. We bought a bath bench and put it in the back yard so that every 3-4 days I could go out there and hose myself off. It wasn't a real shower but it was the best that I had. I mostly laid in bed every day staring at the T.V. screen, eating perkesets and avoiding the phone. I was embarrassed to be seen. Every time I would have to struggle to get from my wheel chair to the car to go to our numerous doctors appointments, the neighbors would all come to their window and stare at me. All the while finances continued to dwindle as my pain increased.

Through this time it was hard not to think about Mark Nigon, uninjured from the accident, sitting at home with his wife and three kids. Enjoying family time by the fireplace, going to church and doing family things. All the while I was in constant pain and was a burden to everyone around me. Mark Nigon was still free, living his life and only worried about what would eventually happen to him. The letters that we received from his lawyer began spouting what his eventual defense would seem to be made up of. Mark Nigon was a family man with three daughters and a wife. One of his daughters was blind and needed his income and care. We were made to feel like the bad guys now for filing a civil case against him to try to re-establish our lives. Mark Nigon is the bad guy though. Mark Nigon is the one who made a clear decision to get in a car drunk and nearly kill two innocent young people while knowing very well that it would put his entire family in jeopardy. Mark Nigon is playing politics while Julie and I scramble to pick up the shattered pieces of our lives.

Julie and I are not being unfair in anything that we are asking for. We are asking for Mark Nigon to cover the damages that he caused us and the potential future issue's that Julie's injuries and my injuries will likely bring. We are asking that he serve time in jail and not be let off light with work release. We are asking that for the rest of Mark Nigon's life, if he is ever allowed to drive again that he has a device on his car that will not allow the car to start unless he is sober. We are asking that a social worker be assigned to Visit Mark Nigon's house on a regular basis to ensure that his alcohol abuse is not resulting in him beating or abusing his wife and kids in any way. We are asking that Mark Nigon be served justice for the harm and trauma that he has caused us that will be with us for the rest of our lives. We may never be able to rebuild what he has taken away from us. To let him off with anything less than jail time would be a travesty.

Yes it is true that I will heal, but things will never be the same. I will always be afraid to go out on our roads. I will never again be able to enjoy the outdoor sports that I moved to Colorado to be a part of, with the same quality I used to. But most importantly I will never be able to forget Mark Nigon, I will remember his face every time the weather turns cold and I get that dull ache in my leg and hip, every time I see someone swerve on the road, every time I read a story about a drunk driver injuring or killing someone, every time I sit in the passenger seat of a car, every time my wife wakes up in the middle of the night screaming, and every time I have to take her to school or work because she is shaking in fear at the thought of driving. I spent three months of my life in a bed, a wheel chair and a walker. I will spend much more of my life in persistent pain. I do not think that it is too much to ask that Mark Nigon spends at least two years in jail, and is given enough punishment that he never forgets the pain and suffering that he has caused to my wife and I.

Thank you for your time

My mom rocks!

Here is the letter that my mom wrote to the Judge, who is going to sentence Mark Nigon on Dec 18!!!

District Attorney
500 Jefferson County Parkway
Golden Colorado
Judge: Christopher Munch
Prosecutor: Timothy Lane
Case # 30 06CR02289
On July 2nd, 2006 at 2am my phone rang. I knew it might not be good news but what I was about to hear, I could hardly believe. My 28 year old son (Justin) and his new wife of less than four months (Julie) were driving home and they saw lights flashing. They realized something wasn't right and before they had time to react they were hit broadside in their Jeep by a drunk driver being pursued at a high rate of speed by the police. Julie had swerved just in time to avoid a head on collision. Justin being the passenger was pinned in with extensive injuries. It had taken over an hour for him to be cut out of the Jeep. I was told he was in surgery and Julie didn't know how long he would be in there. Julie was confused as to what she should do, and was trying not to upset anyone. My conversation with Julie was to inquire about her injuries while Justin was being tended to. Julie had refused medical treatment because as a patient she would not be able to be with her husband. Julie was in complete emotional distress. She wasn't sure of what she should do. I called the emergency room to inquire about Justin and the words spoken to me by the nurse were "If he were my son I would get here".
I immediately purchased a ticket and flew from CA to CO and arrived at 8:30 that evening. I arrived at the hospital and walked into the ICU to see my son. I looked at him and fell apart. Justin was hooked up to many monitoring devices. So many you had to be careful where you walked. He was on the highest forms of pain killers. He was on oxycontin, synthetic morphine and liquid vicoden. He had six hours of surgery on one leg only and the Orthopedic felt he had been in surgery to long and it could become to risky to do anymore. He was dripping blood all over the floor and I felt he probably would not make it until the morning. I sat with him all night long and fed him Jell-O, gave him water to drink, rubbed his arm and held his hand. I didn't know when his last breath would be. I would tell him stories and tell him how much I loved him.
After two days in ICU Justin was moved to the trauma floor unit. He laid there for three days waiting for a pelvic specialist to do surgery on his pelvis to stabilize it. Each and every move caused severe pain. The pain was so intense that anxiety would set in. One night I was holding his hand when his heart stopped, his eyes rolled back in his head and his body dropped lifeless. I had lost him. Then moments later his heart started up again and he began to breath. I had him back. The moment I lost him, even for that moment, has changed my life. I know the pain of losing a child. It is an un-bearable pain, that only if you have lost a loved one, can you understand.
The staff of the hospital brought in a bed and between Julie and I, Justin was given 24 hour 7 day a week around the clock care. We fed him, cleaned him, helped change his dressings, and made sure that he was made as comfortable as we possibly could for a full two weeks.
As Julie was not able to leave Justin, she had to give up her job. The care required to sustain him was much. Julie spent everyday helping Justin breath, and exercise his lungs, changing his dressing, feeding him, and loving him enough to deny his request to end his life. Justin did not have the will to live and wanted to die. Julie was ultimately the person in Justin's life to give him the desire to live. Without Julie there I believe Justin would not have pulled through.
Justin had his second surgery five days after admittance. His pelvis was stablelized and our main concerns were infections which could still take his life. We continued to watch carefully and kept all his dressings clean.
After more than a week in the trauma unit Justin was moved to rehab. Some of the most painful times were yet to come as the physical therapy was painful to the point of Justin passing out and barely making it back to his room. Justin would break out in a cold sweat and have to be showered with ice water to keep his temperature down. He ran a temp for two weeks. Breathing treatments continued on a daily basis.
People need to realize when they are sitting home watching television and programs like cops it's real. The reckless driver is speeding and being chased and next thing you know the speeder hits another car injuring innocent occupants. When the credits roll there is the short statement at the end that reads like this. "The driver was sentence to one year and the injured fully recovered"…. Well I'm here to tell you, the injured never fully recover. They do not recover from the emotional distress and they don't sleep as well as they used to. They recover only their injuries after extensive suffering. Justin Experienced three long grueling weeks in the hospital, two months in a wheel chair, six weeks in a walker and then there is the mental suffering that continues day after day with fear. The fear is that they will never be the same. Justin will always walk with a limp and will have joint disorders from the bone damage down the road. He will always be fearful of driving a car and will worry about whether or not he will ever have to go through this again. He doesn't get to enjoy the things in life he has worked so hard to be able to enjoy. He fell short of loss of life just because one guy decided to have a few too many beers. Let's not forget about the financial losses he incurred in the amount of just less than $200,000.00. He is also facing the third surgery nine months down the road to have the screw removed that held his pelvis together. It's not going to be over for a long time and the healing is slow. Not to mention more medical bills to come.
Justin is a just and decent person, he was raised to respect and care. I have a lifetime contract with Justin (see attachment) that deals specifically with drinking. When He was a child Justin agreed to call for advice or transportation at any hour, from any place, if he was ever in a situation where he had too much to drink. He to this day is responsible. He was out playing pool and had some drinks. He called his wife to come drive him home and guess what? He was hit by a drunk who didn't have the common sense to call a cab let alone his wife.
Mark Nigon has it all. He has a wife, kids, a church going family, a home, and a decent job. Everything a man could possibly want or need in his life for it to be complete. One day Mark had too many beers, took the cops on a joy ride at excessive high speed, through the quiet night, going the wrong way down the street and ended up smashing into Justin and his new wife Julie. Mark pinned Justin inside the Jeep to bleed to death. If it was not for the police being on the scene right away, Justin would not be here today. It took the paramedics over an hour to cut Justin loose as he laid there screaming in pain. Justin laid there with a broken hip, pelvis, head injury, pubic diastases, acetabular fractures, right foot fractures, left foot fractures, right open femur fracture, compound tibia, and fibula fractures. All the while Mark, who was falling down drunk, walked away without a scratch, taken to jail to sleep it off. The incident was classified as Vehicular assault: A felony charge from severely injuring another individual in a car accident through reckless driving (commonly alcohol related).
This case of vehicular assault is in fact pre-meditated murder. How could it be different than murder? You go out, make a conscience decision to put an excessive amount of alcohol into your system and determine to go on a joy ride running from the police just to end up almost killing someone. What about the police whose lives were in jeopardy while in pursuit of Mark? We have lost many officers in the line of duty due to drunk drivers. Mark made a conscience decision to drink , get into a 4000 pound killing machine and run from the law inflicting injury on others. Do you not think for one moment Mark has not had his children in the vehicle with him at times while intoxicated? He is a bad example for his family. Any man at the age of 41, has no concern for human life, if he will evade the law in a manner such as he did. Mark's decision was made after his first drink.
Mr. Nigon knew right away that he had trouble coming and hired an attorney to fight for him. He plea bargained to a lesser charge of four charges. He hid behind the skirt of his wife, used the church, and the fact that he has a handicap child to make himself look like we should show pity on him. Mark worries about himself only, worried about how much time he will get or how much money he will have to pay, but never once called to say he was sorry for Justin and Julies's injuries and never had a bit of concern except for himself. Poor Mark! If Mark Nigon gets work release and a year or less the system will have failed us. The D.M.V. suspends drivers licenses for one year due to a D.U.I. Shouldn't Vehicular Assault have a stiffer penalty?
One year and work release is a simple D.U.I charge penalty. Vehicular assault is more severe. Our prisons are full but make no mistake, people like Mark Nigon should not be let off lightly.
I once knew a convicted drug dealer. He fought and fought and he beat the system. He filed hardships and cried until the judge gave him one year with work release and I am here to tell you the criminal mind laughs at judges and juries who let them off lightly. They have beat the system. Work release is not time. It's a place to sleep. Mark Nigon needs more than a place to sleep. This is his second DUI. So what if they were 20 years apart. That just means he didn't get caught in-between.
My family has been torn apart. We all have suffered at the careless hands of Mark Nigon. We ask for substantial time for Mark. Anything less than one year would be devastating to our family. We have suffered greatly and deserve justice. He should serve as much time as the law allows. Most states offer anywhere from 6 to 10 years for severely injuring a person in alcohol related accidents. Nothing less is justice. Also the D.M.V. suspends one's license for one year for a D.U.I. Shouldn't Vehicular Assault do more?
Remember this, I never thought it would be me or my child but it was. If the right thing is not done it may be someone else's child. Maybe even someone you know. We need to send a message to the people. This behavior is not acceptable. The punishment needs to fit the crime or we will not be able to stop these horrendous acts of violence. Please, give Mark Nigon the maximum sentence allowed. Nothing less is acceptable to our entire family. Give Mark Nigon the time, for the punishment must fit the crime.

Victim impact statement

Victim Impact Statement

Prosecutor: Timothy Lane V/W Specialist: Jan Ferguson
Case No.: 30 06CR02289 Division: 7
Defendant: Mark Gerald Nigon

1. Please describe what being a victim of a crime has been like for you and your family.
This has been the most horrifying experience that I have ever been through. From
my multiple broken bones and an extended hospital stay to three months of lost wages for my wife and I of which we are still feeling the consequences. My physical injuries will haunt me for the rest of my life and the emotional and psychological turmoil has yet to subside.

2. As a result of this crime were you physically injured? YES
Please describe the injury.
I sustained a closed head injury, three hip fractures, two pelvic socket fractures, (one in each socket) pubic diastases, an acetabular fracture, right open femur fracture, (Bone came out through the side of my leg) Tibia fracture, fibula fracture, multiple right foot fractures that were required to be rebuilt with plates and pins and multiple left foot fractures. I was in a wheel chair for two months and a walker for an additional 6 weeks. I still require the use of a cane to navigate stairs and it is difficult for me to get in and out of my vehicle.

3. Did you receive medical treatment for your injuries? YES
If so please describe the treatment that you received and the length of time treatment was and/or is required.
I required multiple CAT scans and MRIs, Rods and pins inserted into my leg and foot, plus bolts and plates to hold my hip in place. I was in the hospital for close to three weeks and was in such intense pain that I repeatedly begged my wife to kill me and put me out of my misery.

4. Indicate the amount of expenses related to this case that you have had as a result of the medical treatment received.
Swedish medical center $147,206.35
Rocky Mountain assisting $ 1549.34
Praxair Healthcare $ 425.94
B.C. Sales $ 120.00
Pathology Associates $ 433.50
Carepoint ER Physicians $ 584.00
Dr. Michael Craun $ 380.00
Dr. Denetta Slone $ 1045.00
Dr. Emmett McGuire $ 570.00
Denver Anesthesiologist $ 1840.00
West metro Fire Protection $ 873.00
Exempla Healthcare $ 129.00
Total of $155,156.13

Anticipation of future expenses.
This is hard to estimate but I would say somewhere between $10,000-$20,000

5. Were you psychologically or emotionally injured as a result of this crime? YES
If yes please describe the impact on you
I have recurring nightmares and difficulty sleeping. I have a fear of driving and being in public in general. I have chronic depression and fatigue. I am especially terrified of driving at night. Instead of going out and enjoying myself I mostly just stay in my house now. I have intense headaches and I cannot focus on any one thing for an extended period of time.

6. Have you received counseling or mental health therapy as a result of this crime? YES
If yes please describe the length of time that you have been or will be undergoing counseling or therapy.
I received counseling in the hospital. The therapist was brought in because I kept asking my wife to kill me and put me out of my misery. As the pain became a bit more tolerable I no longer wanted to die and we ceased therapy.

7. Indicate the amount of expenses incurred to date as a result of counseling or therapy received. $ 7870.00

8. Has there been any other expenses as a result of this crime? YES

Ongoing treatment
Rocky Mountain Primary Care $ 340.00
Dr John Douthit $ 7756.00
Dr Karen Theriot $ 300.00
Interim Healthcare $ 140.00
Dr Elena Draznin $ 745.00
Colorado Emergency Associates $ 4993.50
Radiology Imaging Associates $ 1783.00
Lakewood Physical Therapy $ 4920.00

Total (including counseling) $28,847.50

I also missed two full months of work for a total loss of $7283.32. When I returned to work the first month was at half time and there were more losses but they are negligible compared to what is already listed. The Grand total of all of my losses so far are $191,286.95 and bills are still steadily coming in.

9. Has the crime affected you ability to earn a living? NO
The only affect was the time I missed from work before returning

10. Did victim crime compensation pay for any of your expenses? NO
We submitted the paper work to them but never heard back from them

11. Was the defendant known to you before this crime? NO

12. Do you fear that the defendant will try to hurt you in any way? NO

13. If a plea agreement was reached in your case do you feel you had adequate input into the agreement? NO
Mark Nigon was charged with four counts of vehicular assault. I feel that he should have been convicted on at least two of them, since he assaulted two of us. Why is it that he was only convicted of assault against me when he assaulted my wife as well? It is unfair that he was not charged in at least two counts of vehicular assault.

14. Do you feel that the agreement is a fair outcome in your case? SOMEWHAT
I will feel that the outcome is fair only if Mr. Nigon is sentenced to at least 2 years in Jail/Prison. Anything less would be a slap on the wrist for what he has done to us. This mans negligence nearly ended my life, for that he should serve some hard time. Work release would be unfair, as would be a halfway house. This man should be taught that what he did was wrong and made an example of so that others don't feel that Jefferson County is lenient towards people who drink, drive and injure someone in the process.

15. Do you have any thoughts or feelings about the sentence that the Judge should give the defendant? Please explain indicating whether you favor imprisonment, probation, community corrections or a suspended sentence.
Mr. Nigon is a danger to anyone traveling on our city's roads as long as he is a free man. Anything less than two years in Jail/Prison would seem unjust to me for the crime that he has committed

16. This case may be referred for review by the Community Corrections Screening Board. Community Corrections is a correctional halfway house where those convicted of crimes receive offense related services. Those who are sentenced to Community Corrections are allowed to leave the facility to work during the day. They must return immediately to the halfway house after work. What are your feelings about this type of sentencing?
Some one that could get into a car and drive when they are so intoxicated that they cannot even tell what side of the road they are on (He blew above a .20 BAC) would be unlikely to be helped by a program such as a halfway house. For the amount of pain and turmoil that Mr. Nigon put us through, I think that this would be an unfair punishment. It is much too lenient. Jail/prison time is the only fair and reasonable punishment in this case.
17. Are there any special conditions that you would like the court to impose on the defendant?
I would like to see the defendant receive alcohol treatment, and perform community service when he gets out of jail. I would like to see a lengthy suspension of his license. If the day comes when he is allowed to drive again I would like have it be mandatory that Mr. Nigon has a device in his car that will prevent his car from starting until it registers his breath as having no alcohol present. After prison he should also receive at least five years of probation.

18. Will you be present at sentencing? YES

A letter to Judge Christopher Munch

Dear Judge Christopher Munch

I just wanted to take a moment to write you regarding a case that you are currently residing over. On July 2nd 2006 I was out at a local bar enjoying the holiday weekend. Upon realizing that I may be to inebriated to drive home I decided to call my wife for a ride. She arrived to pick me up and we made our way home. About halfway there (name deleted due to pending trial) was driving the wrong way down Kipling between Jewel and Florida with a blood alcohol level in excess of .20. As this stretch of road sits on a long blind curve my wife had minimal time to react to this threat and a head on collision ensued. Luckily for me the Police were already chasing (name deleted due to pending trial) on this July 4th weekend drunk driving tirade. Because of the immediate police and medical response to this incident my life was spared. As the impact was more on the passenger side than the driver's side the crumpled car crushed and trapped my leg. My femur broke and severed a major artery in my leg. My shin bone was busted into three pieces, my right foot was totally crushed and was pierced with a sharp piece of metal that had broken off of my Jeep. My left foot was broken as were both my pelvic sockets and my hip in three places. After a team of talented doctors saved my life the determination had to be made if I would ever walk again.

Luckily my back was not broken so the idea of me walking again was looking very good. I stayed in the hospital for a little over a month. Once in the ICU and once in trauma unit I went into shock and my heart stopped from the intense pain that I was experiencing. I was anemic and could not breathe without the help of an oxygen tube. When I was eventually transferred to the Rehab unit I was so weak that I could barely sit up in the chair for more than a couple of minutes at a time. I often communicated during this time by writing on a notepad that I kept with me because I was to weak to talk.

Eventually I was deemed well enough to be transferred home but would spend another six weeks in a wheel chair before I could begin physical therapy to learn how to walk again with the assistance of a walker. During this time not only had I been racking up medical expenses that would eventually approach $200,000 but I had lost the ability to work and earn income. Income that my wife would normally be earning was also lost as she was forced to quit her job in order to stay at home and take care of me.

While these events were occurring and my wife and I were suffering intense hardships (name deleted due to pending trial) was out of jail on a bond the next day after the accident. As I was lying in a hospital in agonizing pain, He was out living his life anyway he saw fit. (name deleted due to pending trial)'s attorney is trying to show that sending him to jail for this crime would be a great disservice since (name deleted due to pending trial) has a wife and three children to support, one of which is a special needs child. The evidence against (name deleted due to pending trial) is so overwhelming that his lawyer will not even think about defending him outright. The time for (name deleted due to pending trial) to think about the welfare of his family was before he got drunk and drove his truck on July 2nd 2006, nearly killing my wife and I, not afterwards. Their family has a considerable amount of assets in the equity of their home with which they could easily use to settle the civil case with us and have enough money left over to survive on while (name deleted due to pending trial) is punished for his crime. There is no reason for him to be given work release instead of jail time. I believe that if (name deleted due to pending trial) is sentenced to anything less than the standard 2 years in jail for vehicular assault, that justice will not have been served. I urge you to give him the strongest sentence punishable by law. The hardships that the (name deleted due to pending trial) family is experiencing due to his negligence are extremely small compared to the hardships that my wife and I have suffered.

Currently I am walking with the help of a cane. I am working out daily in order to get my muscles stronger and trying desperately to get back to how things were before. I returned to work a couple of weeks ago, but the financial damage caused by this incident will effect my wife and I for years to come. Also I have aches and pains in my legs and back that, according to the doctors will be something that I will "have to live with for the rest of my life." Also the rods in my legs will be there for the rest of my life and it is very common for someone who has had their legs reconstructed in the manner that I have, to develop severe arthritis later in life. (name deleted due to pending trial)'s Lawyer would like to suggest that I wasn't hurt that badly, but the pictures of my hospital stay and a stack of medical bills over 8 inches thick will prove otherwise. So once again I would like to urge you at (name deleted due to pending trial)'s sentencing to give the maximum sentence in order to serve justice for the incredibly vicious crime that he has committed against my wife and I.

Thank you for your time

Fat ass

So my wife and I went to court yesterday and for the first time we both got to look our attacker straight in the eye. He was a portly fat man in his mid 40s with real sense of arrogance. I don't know if I was more bothered by how smug and out of reach he seemed to be or by the fact that his lawyer looked like Johnny Cochran. It really speaks ill of the profession that someone is even willing to take his case. Luckily I have one of the good lawyers. The only problem with my lawyer is that his receptionist sucks! He is probably one of the only honest lawyers I have ever met though. (Not that I have alot of experience with lawyers.) So this fat fuck asked the judge for a continuance and got it. The D.A. told me that this is something that the Judge grants to everyone who ask at least one time. I objected anyways. I knew it would be turned down but I wanted to make sure that he knew I was there and that I would be going against him on every move that he made. My objection was based on the fact that I felt drunky was stalling and I wanted to keep the case moving foward quickly. The Judge actually got a little offended and asked the D.A. the rhetorical question "I think we move cases faster here than any district in Colorado, don't we?" Well what a jackass thing to say. Nothing is fast enough when your laying in a hospital bed, or sitting in a wheel chair. All you want to do is have this be over with and the judge is granting people more time so that they can go on living thier lives like nothing has happened, while you are living yours crippled. I wish judges would take the victims into account rather than thier protocals. As Drunky was walking out I attempted to lock eyes with him. He looked at me for about 2 seconds and realized who I was. Then he refused to make eye contact anymore. I hope it was embarrassment. As my wife and I were leaving she started to cry. She said she had never felt so much hate in her entire life. We sat down on a bench in the foyer. About this time Drunky and his seedy ass lawyer came walking by. My wife got a look in her eye like a rabid pit bull, I was getting ready to try to stop her from doing whatever it was she was about to do when Drunky and his lawyer seeing us on the bench did the smartest thing they have probably ever done in thier life, they turned around and went the other way. God I love my wife. I watched Drunky walk all the way to his car to make sure he wasn't driving himself. Unfortunatly he was picked up by someone. Fuck! How great would that have been to call the cops on his and get him arrested for driving illegally. Well he has one shot to save his ass and that is with the use of a civil offer that he is supposed to turn in next week. It better be fucking good, or I will ensure that he is never able to own anything again. No houses, no cars, no loans. Until he makes this right, my life is dedicated to making his as shitty as possible. If he ends up becoming homeless I will be sure to forward a picture of the fat fuck so you know which bum to not give money to.

Letter to the Denver Post Newspaper

I was wondering why the news and media do not cover drunk driving accidents I had to search through over 70 google pages just to find drunk driving statistics that were already 4 years out of date. In 2003 nearly 17,000 people died in drunk driving crashes. Many of these people were innocent people just on their way home from a friend's house or work. Often they are killed or seriously injured and live for the rest of their lives with pain. These drunk drivers are often let go with minimal punishment. If they are not insured then the victims have nearly no recourse. Yet the Media does not seem to care. On July 2nd I was riding home in my Jeep wrangler sitting in the passenger seat after a night of drinking while my wife acting as my designated driver took me home. Nearing midnight on this holiday weekend a drunk driver with a suspended license in a Dodge Ram 2500 came barreling down a one way street, in an alcoholic haze, heading the wrong way. He was being chased by two police officers who were unable to catch him before he came around the bend in the road and hit us head on. My wife had no time to react to the collision. She was lucky that he hit more on my side, as my wife escaped with whiplash and soft tissue damage that would later develop into some lasting pain. I on the other hand was not so lucky. The Metal frame had crushed my right leg and pieces of metal were sticking through my foot and lower leg. I would later find out that I had broken nearly every bone in my foot, had three breaks in my lower leg, my fibula sticking out through my thigh muscle, three hip fractures and two pelvic socket fractures. Had the Police not been on the scene immediately and had the paramedics not responded so quickly there is no doubt that I would have died from blood loss. My wife frantically tried to pull the crushed jeep off of my leg as I screamed in pain. One police officer came over to stop her from her futile efforts and to attempt to calm me down. I was going into shock and things were not looking good for me. The other officer went to tend to a still very drunk and unharmed drunk driver. He was uncooperative with the officer, and did not seem to care that I was hanging onto life by a thread just a few yards away from him. The man was placed under arrest and given a felony blood draw an hour later that registered .217. This is nearly three times over the legal limit in Colorado. In spite of this he was let go the next day on a $5000 bond. He has been free the last four months to live his life while I have been in the hospital and in a wheel chair. After several surgeries at the hands of talented orthopedic surgeons I will eventually be able to walk normally again. Even after what I have been through I should still consider my self lucky. This man will get off with a slap on the wrist though. When I spoke to the D.A. he said that the most he is probably going to get is 18 months work release, because his crime was not intentional. How was his crime not intentional? Anyone who gets into a car and drives with a blood alcohol level almost three times the legal limit has committed an intentional crime in my opinion. Even though my hospital bills are nearing $200,000 I will be lucky to get $100,000 as that is all that his insurance will cover. In the end my wife and I will have nothing. Please remember, I am the lucky one. Most people involved in these types of accidents are either dead or crippled for life. This is before we get into the financial repercussions that are caused by this type of behavior. Yet no one seems to care unless it happens to them. I know I didn't, and I know you don't. I know that this letter is a waste of time, because this story won't sell papers. It is to close to home for your readers. Something they don't want to think about happening to their kids or to themselves. But this is something that real media should cover, because media has the power to unite people and get them behind a set of ideas. We need to increase the penalties for these sick criminals. They should have mandatory prison sentences and they should never be able to drive a vehicle again. The victims of drunk driving accidents may spend their entire lives trying to recover from these accidents while the perpetrators of this nearly unpunished crime go free and often continue on with their lives as if nothing ever happened. My one true hope is that you never have to experience what I have had to experience. Unfortunately it is probably the only way that you would ever consider doing something about it.

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By believing passionately in something that still does not exist, we create it. The nonexistent is whatever we have not sufficiently desired. - Franz Kafka