PIPESTONE COUNTY, Minn. (KMSP) - It was a stunning day in a small town courthouse after a judge threw out a controversial plea deal in a deadly drunk driving crash, sending the offender to prison and leaving the victim’s family feeling that justice was served.
“He was my other half, and I lost him,” Kalysa Egge said of her brother. “[I’m] not going to get that back.”
Egge’s family is shattered after her only sibling, Jordan, was taken from them a year ago in a horrific drunk driving crash in Pipestone County, Minnesota.
The family was then forced to go to battle against a criminal justice system that they believed was working against them.
Prosecutors and the defense team for the impaired driver, Zachary Boucher, agreed to a plea deal with a maximum sentence of up to a year in the county jail.
The family begged a judge to throw it out and sentence Boucher to prison.
And on Tuesday, that happened. Judge Terry Vajgert dismissed the plea deal and ordered Boucher to prison for three-and-half years.
Boucher’s attorney was frustrated by the outcome.
“Is three and half years fair? Not for me to say. I was hired to do my job, get the best for Zach. Unfortunately, I came up short,” defense attorney John Wilka said.
“To me, it meant that no one was valuing Jordan’s life,” said Jordan’s mom Kathy Egge. “Jordan had value; he was a wonderful person.”
In the end, 22-year old Boucher was immediately taken into custody to begin serving his sentence.