Judge Strikes Down Prior Conviction, Suspends Prison Sentence

A visiting judge in Tehama County has defied the recommendations of prosecutors in a hit-and-run sentence. James Franks Thurman had a suspended driver’s license for multiple DUI convictions when he was driving on Interstate Five and swerved into the other lane, striking another vehicle and causing injuries to the passenger’s face and arms. Thurman was later arrested, tried and convicted for felony hit-and-run causing injury. He has a prior strike from a forcible rape conviction and the D.A.’s Office argued that he should go to state prison. Instead, the judge struck down the prior conviction and sentenced Thurman to a suspended three year prison term with 5 years probation and 240 days in county jail.


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