Dedicated to a loved Spirit who has walked along in our lives

Christopher E. Douglass

August 25, 1979 - May 31, 2008
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Coloradoan
June 1, 2008
...shortly after 10 a.m. near milepost 351 on U.S. 287, which is about a mile northwest of the intersection of U.S. 287 and Larimer County Road ...

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Dragonfly
The whole scene had the feel of two strangers standing next to each other at a bus stop late at night. Both seem like descent guys so there is no need to be on guard or nervous.
I looked at him for at least a minute, marveling at the tiny details of his wings and body that I had never taken the time to notice on other dragonflies.


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Colorado Man Sentenced in Fatal Crash
July 1, 2009
By Nate Taylor, Fort Collins Coloradoan

During a series of events rarely seen inside a Colorado courtroom, Gregory Nessler was allowed Tuesday during his sentencing hearing to turn and face the family of the Maine man he killed last year while driving high on drugs.
Before he was sentenced to four years in prison for vehicular homicide and four years for vehicular assault, Nessler fought back tears and vowed to Christopher Douglass' family to live his life the way their son and brother no longer could.

"I take full responsibility for my actions," Nessler said facing the 15 friends and family members in the courtroom after being granted permission to do so by Judge David Williams. "I can truly say he's an inspiration for the way I wish I could live my life. I'm truly, deeply sorry."

Nessler, a 21-year-old Colorado State University student, was sentenced Tuesday afternoon in Fort Collins after pleading guilty in March to the vehicular homicide and assault charges filed against him after a fatal crash on May 31, 2008, on U.S. Highway 287 north of Fort Collins.

He'll serve the two sentences concurrently and serve three years of mandatory parole upon his release. His attorneys can file a motion to reconsider the sentence in the next nine to 12 months.

With the prescription drug Xanax, marijuana and cocaine in his system, prosecutors say Nessler dozed off and his Chevrolet Avalanche collided head-on with the Toyota Camry driven by 24-year-old Amy White of Denver and carrying the 28-year-old Douglass of Lisbon.

The Camry was demolished, and Douglass was pronounced dead at the scene. White survived, but a year and a month after the crash, she has permanent brain damage, is in a child-like state and is blind in one eye, according to a Colorado State Patrol victim's advocate.

The sentence Williams handed down took into consideration circumstances he and attorneys for both sides said were the most difficult they've encountered during their legal careers. Nessler's crimes were his first against society, and his parents described him as a caring young man who became addicted to pain killers while battling an illness.

Loved ones described Douglass as an outdoors enthusiast, musician, artist and best friend to many. Douglass had traveled to 48 states, run a marathon in Dublin, Ireland, and was planning a cross-country walk from Colorado to his home-state of Maine in the months before he died.
"He was my adventurous son, and he was my baby," Douglass' mother, Linda Douglass, said. "Chris had so many plans he hadn't done yet."
Linda Douglass, along with her husband, Jerry, also read a "bucket list" - things to do before one dies - that their son had created when he was 20 years old. He also read a letter Chris wrote the Father's Day before his death, where he thanked his dad for teaching him the three principles he need to live by:

Be nice, be honest and be thankful.


"The memories that brought us smiles before now come with all these tears," Chris' sister and best friend, Bethany Douglass, told Williams.

Nessler cried throughout the two-hour hearing, but most uncontrollably when he addressed the Douglass family for about five minutes. His attorneys asked Williams to sentence him to 10 years in community corrections.
Williams said sentencing Nessler to community corrections would minimize his crime and not carry out the principle of deterrence.

 

Greg Nessler
Gregory Nessler was sentenced to four years in prison for vehicular homicide and four years for vehicular assault on Tuesday in Colorado. The sentences stem from a fatal crash on May 31, 2008, in Colorado that killed Maine native Chris Douglass.

Reprinted with permission of the Fort Collins Coloradoan.

UPDATE. August 23, 2012. Seeing Larimer County on the Caller ID was a bit startling. It has been a few years now since we had daily discussions with various people in the court house in regards to what happened to Chris & Ame. The woman on the end of the line seemed as uncomfortable as I. And I do not envy her job in the least. She was calling to let us know that Nessler's sentence would be completed August 23, 2012.

Apparently good behavior goes a long way.

I have to believe that there is not a morning or night that Nessler does not think about what he took away from Chris and Ame. I hope he appreciates being able to enjoy special occasions outside of a cell, work in a local coffee shoppe, have a girlfriend and graduate college while serving his sentence. The justice system is certainly something I will never understand. Chris and Ame were not given any second chances that morning.
 



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Memory Page

Sun Journal
June 4, 2008


... what he lived to do; hiking (off trail), running, biking, meeting people, understanding individual hopes, listening and creating music or simply relaxing to the sounds of our world.
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Walkabout


... I imagine the moments of clarity won't occur as suddenly and dramatically as they typically do during a run, but if the end goal is to simplify things than walking should do the trick.

Walk far enough, life gets simple. Life get's simple enough, things start to make sense. Hey, I may have found a mantra...

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