Downward sentence requires work release, community service, and seven-year probation
A Forest Lake man who crashed a vehicle while drunk, killing one of his passengers, was sentenced to one year of a work release program and seven years probation – during which he must abstain from alcohol and drugs – on Jan. 20, significantly less than sentencing guidelines and the amount the state argued for. Trent Jeans, 23, plead guilty last fall to charges of criminal vehicular homicide after the Oct. 10, 2021 crash, which killed 31-year-old Courtney White. According to White’s obituary, she was a wife and mom of two and was a long-time employee at the Forest Lake restaurant Old Log Cabin, where Jeans had been drinking earlier that day. A BCA blood draw for alcohol testing came back at a .218% level, more than two and a half times the legal limit to drive, and also indicated traces of cocaine in his system.
Jeans’s sentence is a significant departure from sentencing guidelines of 3 years and 5 months to 4 years and 3 months, with no less than two-thirds of the sentence being served in prison. He will also be required to do 240 hours of community service related to the dangers of alcohol consumption, and pay $344.12 of restitution to the Washington County Court, in addition to other fees, totaling $931.12. Judge Sheridan Hawley indicated in a court filing that the downward departure of the sentence was because Jeans was amenable to compliance with probation, accepted responsibility and showed remorse, and also was amenable to participate in a chemical dependency treatment program, though Hawley’s decision did not require such treatment. Jeans had previously partaken in a chemical dependency program Hazelden Treatment Center, but left the program because “he did not like how they ran the program,” court documents said.
According to the complaint, Jeans had been drinking at the Old Log Cabin from 10:30 a.m. until roughly until 5:30 p.m., with the exception of a break between 4 and 4:15 p.m. There, he consumed roughly seven 16 oz. Coors Lights, but said he couldn’t recall the amount he consumed for sure in his statement for police. According to the complaint, police officers said, when asked how many he consumed, Jeans said, “I didn’t count,” and acknowledged he was in no condition to drive.
Jeans had multiple offers to use a sober ride, which he had done earlier in the day when he had been drinking “to the point of passing out,” according to court documents. Others at The Log Cabin tried to keep his car keys from him when others told him he was not in a condition to drive.
Jeans drove himself and three passengers from the Old Log Cabin to Mallards, where they had agreed to go to dinner, after making a stop at White’s parents house. On the way to Mallard’s, at roughly 6:44 p.m., Jeans was driving too fast and lost control near the intersection of North Shore Trail and 230th Street North, ultimately killing White, who was found dead on the scene by Forest Lake police officers responding to the call.
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