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Drunken driver pleads guilty in Sequim man’s death

by AMANDA WINTERS
Sequim Gazette

Gene S. Mensik pleaded guilty to charges of vehicular homicide and hit-and-run fatality in Clallam County Superior Court on Tuesday.

 

Mensik, 51, was charged with driving drunk and fatally hitting Sequim resident Scott Franklin around 7:15 a.m. on April 21. Franklin was out for a walk on the 600 block of East Washington Street when Mensik drove his Jeep Wrangler onto the sidewalk and struck Franklin from behind, police said.

 

Mensik continued driving 11 blocks through Sequim and was confronted by police after stopping his car in a parking lot, where his blood-alcohol level registered a 0.147 on a portable Breathalyzer, police said. The legal limit is 0.08.

 

Franklin was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in critical condition and died two days later.

 

Mensik accepted a plea offer from the Clallam County Prosecutor’s Office, which stated that if he pleaded guilty, prosecutors would recommend a sentence of 50 months and require him to get an alcohol evaluation.

 

Franklin’s widow, Opal Franklin, said it isn’t nearly long enough.

 

“It’s not enough time but nothing will be,” she said after the plea hearing.

 

Franklin said she is concerned Mensik will continue driving drunk even after his release from prison.

“Nobody is safe with him out there driving,” she said.

 

Deputy Prosecutor Ann Lundwall said the sentence recommendation is based on Mensik’s offender score, which is very low.

 

Though vehicular homicide is a Class A felony, sentencing ranges are set based on a defendant’s criminal history. Mensik has only misdemeanor crimes on his record, according to the plea offer.

 

Mensik’s sentencing hearing is set for July 21 at 9 a.m. in Clallam County Superior Court.

 

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