Teen likely to receive more than four years in prison | SierraSun.com

Teen likely to receive more than four years in prison

Scott Lindner

Negotiations with a district attorney led to Scott Lindner’s change in plea related to a fatal hit-and-run incident and charges of statutory rape.

On Tuesday, Lindner, 18, changed his plea from innocent to no contest on one count of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence, one count of felony sexual intercourse with a minor, and one count of misdemeanor sexual intercourse with a minor, said William Cornell, Truckee deputy district attorney.

In September, Lindner of Ross, Calif., pleaded innocent to charges in connection with the hit-and-run incident that killed Truckee resident Keith Stewart, 19. The death occurred Aug. 16 in front of witnesses during a concert at Truckee River Regional Park.

After a change in plea, Lindner is scheduled to be sentenced in January, said John Ward, Lindner’s attorney. Lindner’s expected state prison sentence will be four years and eight months, Cornell said.

Although not happy with the expected prison sentence, Stewart’s father, Lance Skupen, understands the court procedure, Cornell said. Skupen could not be reached for comment as of press time.

“No number of years adds up to a life of a child,” Cornell said.

Although toxicology results revealed Lindner had marijuana in his system at the time of the hit-and-run, a charge of driving under the influence of marijuana was dropped because the drug was not found to impair Lindner’s driving ability, Cornell said. He said the toxicology report showed no alcohol content in Lindner’s blood.

Also in September, Lindner pleaded innocent to statutory rape charges involving a 17-year-old Truckee girl and a 13-year-old girl. Truckee police learned of the allegations while investigating the hit-and-run.

Though the acts were considered consensual, due to the ages of the girls involved, they resulted in separate felony and misdemeanor charges. The age difference between the adult and the minor determine whether felony or misdemeanor charges are filed, Cornell said.

“With the 13 year old, there were no suggestions that it was anything but consensual sex,” Cornell said.

At an arraignment hearing held in September at Nevada County Superior Court in Truckee, Lindner surrendered himself and is currently in custody at the Wayne Brown Correctional Facility in Nevada City, Cornell said in September.

Although Lindner can afford bail, Ward said his client chose not to take bail as part of his acceptance and responsibility for the hit-and-run incident.

Ward said Lindner “continues to be very remorseful” regarding the hit-and-run and will likely receive counseling while serving out his prison sentence.

“He’s doing pretty well,” Ward said. “I think this is a reasonable deal.”

Lindner’s sentencing is scheduled on Jan. 9, 2007. Cornell said he expects victims to make statements during the sentencing.

Lindner may make a statement during the sentencing, Ward said, but it hasn’t been discussed yet.

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