Order Rev Nat's Cider Today

Driver who hit and killed man crossing Gresham-Fairview Trail gets two years in prison

Posted by on April 30th, 2018 at 5:21 pm

The Multnomah County District Attorney’s office announced a 24-month prison sentence to the man who killed 21-year-old Robert Esparza in 2016.

According to a statement released this afternoon, 75-year-old Alex Jacoby was driving his Corvette nearly 80 mph when as raced down NE Glisan Street in the early morning hours. Esparza was in a marked Gresham-Fairview Trail crossing prior to the collision.

“During the investigation, the East County Vehicular Crimes Team learned that moments prior to the crash,” reads the statement, “The defendant had aggressively challenged two other drivers to a street race. When he was unable to convince those other drivers to race, Jacoby sped off at a very high rate of speed.”

Multnomah County Chief Deputy District Attorney Kirsten Snowden, who prosecuted this case, said Esparza would not have been hit if Jacoby was driving the speed limit of 40 mph.

Advertisement

Several of Esparza’s family members addressed the court at the sentencing hearing. “We as a family live with Mr. Jacoby’s mistake every day, every weekend, every holiday,” said Simon Esparza, Robert’s father. “We wake up missing our son, brother and uncle. We go to bed wondering why we won’t see him tomorrow. Sadly, these questions are answered without response.”

In addition to prison time, Jacoby will have his driver’s license permanently revoked and will have to pay for than $82,000 in restitution to the Esparza family.

Read more about this case via The Oregonian.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org

Never miss a story. Sign-up for the daily BP Headlines email.

BikePortland needs your support.

NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are productive, considerate, and welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Also, if you comment frequently, please consider holding your thoughts so that others can step forward. Thank you — Jonathan

48
Leave a Reply

avatar
13 Comment threads
35 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
27 Comment authors
truthseekerPeteHello, KittyRacer XDan A Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
J_R
Guest
J_R

Alex Jacoby got off easy. I’ll bet he’s out in a year and does not stop driving or speeding.

Steve
Guest
Steve

DAs don’t “hand down” a sentence. He was either convicted in a trial or capped a plea. In either case, a judge was involved.

Frankly, this is some of the poorest reporting I’ve seen lately. What were the charges? Who was the judge? Was there a trial? If it was a plea bargain, what charges were dropped or softened in exchange?

canuck
Guest
canuck

Pled down because the family did not want to go through a trial. The story was in the Oregonian.

“Prosecutors agreed to a two-year prison sentence because the family didn’t want to go through a trial, according to the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office”

http://www.oregonlive.com/gresham/index.ssf/2018/04/driver_76_gets_2_years_in_pris.html

B. Carfree
Guest
B. Carfree

For predictably deadly behavior like that he gets a trivial prison sentence and a fine that is about the cost of the car? We’ve got a broken system.

paikiala
Guest
paikiala

You buy $82,000 cars?

B. Carfree
Guest
B. Carfree

A new Corvette starts at over $55k, and he did use a Corvette to commit his crime.

Personally, I don’t purchase cars at all. I was referring to the killer.

Toby Keith
Guest
Toby Keith

Unbelievable. This should have been life for Jacoby.

matchupancakes
Guest
matchupancakes

It’s not possible to say without further details, but I suspect Jacoby’s 75 years of age were a factor behind the short sentence.

Chris I
Guest
Chris I

comment deleted by moderator

SD
Subscriber

What would someone have to do to get the maximum sentence?

Steve
Guest
Steve

Per other reporting (http://s.oregonlive.com/qNaGd3P), the sentence (for 2nd degree manslaughter) was reduced (from a possible 6-1/4 years) because the “family didn’t want a trial.”

Critical unanswered question: Which family?

Middle of the Road Guy
Guest
Middle of the Road Guy

The Oregonian mentioned that the victim’s family was not happy with the sentence, so it’s not difficult to figure out which family wanted the plea deal. Hint: not the victim’s family.

Gary
Guest
Gary

The perpetrator’s family doesn’t have a say in the matter, that would be absurd. It had to be the victim’s family. They can both desire to forego a trial and be unhappy with the plea bargain that results, those aren’t mutually exclusive.

Mike Quigley
Guest
Mike Quigley

The Esparza family can still sue Jacoby for all he’s worth. This guy’s problems are just beginning.

Tilton Farnsworth
Guest
Tilton Farnsworth

Cold comfort for the Esparzas.

BikeRound
Guest
BikeRound

Two years is definitely not a trivial prison sentence. And studies have consistently shown that what deters criminal behavior is the certainty of punishment, and the severity of punishment plays only a much smaller role. That is why what we should be having speed cameras (that calculate average speed over a distance based on license plate identification) everywhere, and we should worry less about the actual punishment received by those few who are prosecuted under the current system.

Justin Morton
Guest
Justin Morton

Two years is a significant sentence. One year would probably be an appropriate deterrent.

This country loves to throw people in cages. Because, hey, punishing people is easy. It is much harder to actually try to rehabilitate people.

Huey Lewis
Guest
Huey Lewis

It’s possibly important to note that the person thrown in a cage here killed someone.

What would effective rehabilitation look like here?

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

Rehabilitation would involve ensuring Jacoby understood the wrongness of his actions, felt remorse, and wouldn’t commit the same crime again. I do not believe in retributive punishment; I think the sentence is appropriate when combined with lifetime license revocation, as was done here. It will also serve as an adequate deterrent, though, as others have noted, certainty of punishment is much more important.

dwk
Guest
dwk

Punishment should also be a deterrent for others who might think about doing the same thing.
Do you think a year of jail time will deter others from street racing and killing someone?
I doubt it, but a life sentence might….

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

I think most street racers think they will not hurt anyone or be punished, so I’m not sure if the severity of the punishment matters much. But for most people, a year in jail is a pretty big deal.

dwk
Guest
dwk

A year in jail is a pretty big deal?
A 21 year old is Dead! A year in jail is nothing…..

dwk
Guest
dwk

and if a year is jail is sufficient punishment for killing someone, what do you think the punishment for robbery should be?
a couple of days…..

BB
Guest
BB

And for most people being killed is an even bigger deal, a year in jail isn’t even comparable..

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

If the point of justice were retribution, then I would completely agree.

BB
Guest
BB

The point of justice is retribution.. You don’t think the prison environment is remotely conducive to actual rehabilitation, do you? Despite the lip service that is not what our society uses prisons for..

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

I believe that justice is best served when focused on prevention and rehabilitation rather than retribution and vengeance. I’m more a forgiveness than an eye-for-an-eye kind of person.

Chris I
Guest
Chris I

He’ll be driving again in 2 years and a few months.

Justin Morton
Guest
Justin Morton

Thank you for making my point.

Matthew in PDX
Guest
Matthew in PDX

I think it would also be effective if when released Jacoby were on permanent parole, and if caught breaching his parole condition (including operating a motor vehicle on a public street), he would be fined and returned to prison for at least a further three months.

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

We could probably use more people in orange jumpsuits standing along our roads holding signs that say “SLOW DOWN”.

SD
Subscriber

The frustrating aspect of this sentence is the length of time relative to other penalties. It supports the societal norm that your life is worth less when you are riding a bike, and the harm you cause when you are driving is more easily excused.

Justin Morton
Guest
Justin Morton

I certainly do appreciate the DA’s office taking this crime seriously.

Pete
Guest
Pete

Putting people in cages is not just punishment, it’s prevention.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

Absolutely. Some researchers attribute the fall in crime since the 1980s to the long prison sentences we were handing out like candy.

Tom
Guest
Tom

Can the license revocation be later appealed? Could the judge specify revocation without any chance of appeal?

Gary
Guest
Gary

As it comes from a plea bargain that he agreed to, I can’t think of any mechanism to appeal that aspect of the sentence. It’s possible to appeal the whole deal, but that only happens under very rare circumstances, things like attorney malpractice.

Lazy Spinner
Guest
Lazy Spinner

At 75 years of age, this might end up being a life sentence. If he is still alive when he gets released, he is looking at being turned out into society bankrupt. Esparza’s family should use the civil courts to strip Jacoby of everything that he ever worked for including his precious Corvette. His family, if he has one, will inherit nothing and that shall be his legacy.

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

At least he had time to create a family.

Tilton Farnsworth
Guest
Tilton Farnsworth

There are some crucial questions in this case that I have not seen any answers to: 1. How intoxicated/insane does one need to be to be instigating illegal road races at 330am? 2. Why was Jacoby even awake at that hour? 3. Does Jacoby have a history of mental illness and/or reckless driving? All of these are contributing factors to the cause of the collision and should factor into the sentencing. I sincerely doubt Jacoby has a clean record and perfect references within his community, we need to know who this guy is beyond this one reckless act to know how much of a continuing threat he really may be…I really hope LE has done a thorough background check on Jacoby.

Matthew in PDX
Guest
Matthew in PDX

The report in the Oregonian indicated that Jacoby was sober, no mention of his mental health, he didn’t plead not guilty by reason of insanity. No one needs a reason to be awake at 3.30 a.m., we don’t and shouldn’t regulate people’s sleeping hours. Jacoby’s rap sheet would have been taken into account when determining the sentence, I suspect that there were no recent traffic violations or the sentence would have been longer – which is not to say that this is the first time he engaged in reckless behavior (we don’t know if he has or not) but this may be the first time he got caught.

Tilton Farnsworth
Guest
Tilton Farnsworth

Right, no one needs a reason to be street racing at 330am…because nobody EVER has a good reason for that kind of behavior…maybe Jacoby “just felt like it”. Well, if he had no good reason to be out at that hour besides reckless joy riding it means he’s most likely CRAZY and that needs to be taken into account does it not? Sobriety all depends on how he was tested and what substances he was tested for…we have no specific information about that process. Was he tested for prescription drugs? We have no idea. Was it a field sobriety test or was there a blood test? We have no idea. My point is that there are serious questions that the community has not seen answers to yet, and thus far the courts and news organizations haven’t provided that information to the public.

Pete
Guest
Pete

Crazy and irresponsible are two very different things.

If you’re prone to speeding in your expensive hot rod, you might want to choose a time when the streets are less crowded with traffic, like before rush hour starts…. 3:30 AM might even be a good time to avoid all those dangerous drunks driving around.

Chris I
Guest
Chris I

Just you average sober American sociopath behind the wheel of a high-powered vehicle capable of 100+mph adjacent to houses, children, pets, etc.

Nothing to see here. Move along.

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

Kids these days. Under the influence of Fast & Furious movies, Grand Theft Auto video games, and Dodge commercials.

Racer X
Guest
Racer X

Too bad Mr. Jacoby just did not take his poor behaviour to the nearest park…like PIR, thats what this public facility is for, correct?

truthseeker
Guest
truthseeker

here is the real deal: that driver is a poop head – he is dangerous to all – so portland will probably reduce the 40mph to 5 mph – and people like him will still drive 80