On March 26, Jeremy Rasnake of Staunton, who was convicted of involuntary DUI manslaughter in February, was sentence to four months in prison in connection with a May 2008 crash on Route 340 that took the life of a 40-year-old mother of three.

The sentence recommended by sentencing guidelines is at least 10 months in prison for a charge of involuntary manslaughter.

Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Angela Landes argued that the four-month sentence was “way out of line.”

Rasnake, 21, had two convictions of reckless driving as a juvenile.

However, Judge Victor V. Ludwig upheld the decision of the jury. Rasnake’s driver’s license was also indefinitely suspended. He can apply for a restricted license after three years have elapsed.

On May 23, Rasnake was northbound on Route 340 in a blue 1988 Ford Bronco when he fell asleep at the wheel, drifted across the center line, and struck the 1994 Ford Thunderbird driven by Grottoes resident Cheryl Lynn Sheaves head-on.

Sheaves was transported to University of Virginia Medical Center in Charlottesville, where she died the following day.

Rasnake initially faced an aggravated involuntary DUI manslaughter charge, which could have meant a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.

The role of alcohol in the accident was at issue during the trial. The jury was in deliberation for more than an hour before finding Rasnake guilty of the reduced charge of involuntary DUI manslaughter.

Rasnake’s attorney said that he was “clearly remorseful.”

Bob Battle
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100% of my practice is devoted to serious traffic defense and criminal litigation in state and federal courts
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