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Judge explains 4th OWI sentence for man involved in killing of MPD Officer Her

Posted at 10:17 PM, Jun 24, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-24 23:58:43-04

The judge who sentenced Dante James in his 4th OWI case in 2018 responded to a TODAY'S TMJ4 request for comment.

James is the man accused of driving drunk and crashing into and killing Milwaukee Police Officer Kou Her. Milwaukee County Judge Dennis Cimpl told TMJ4 he couldn't comment on the case, but directed us to his sentencing notes.

The documents detail the sentencing hearing held April 9th, 2018.

James was charged with his 4th OWI after crashing his car into a tree at 3 a.m. with a blood alcohol content of more than three times the legal limit. In the documents, prosecutors ask for James to be sentenced to prison time. The law allows the judge to sentence James to anywhere from six months to six years in prison. Ultimately, the judge sentenced James to two years in prison stayed, meaning he would not serve the time if he kept out of trouble. He also was sent to jail for a year, allowed to leave only for work or treatment.

Judge Cimpl sites James' success in an alcohol treatment course as the reason the sentence was handed down.

"The only thing that is saving you from not going to prison is because of how well you did on treatment," said Cimpl in court.

The judge also admonished James for his behavior, saying that at the time of the crash, "A lot of drunks on the road. A lot of sober people on the road. Hell, there might even be somebody going to early mass or early church services. You could have killed them."

James has been charged with three felony counts in relation to the crash that killed Officer Her June 18th.