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 ...
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.
To read this story
Colorado Man Sentenced in
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,
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 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
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
Williams said sentencing Nessler to community corrections would
minimize his crime and not carry out the principle of deterrence.
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
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
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.
If you have anything that you would like to share,
please send a note
Thank you for visiting.
Please leave a note or share a memory
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
... 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
Walk far enough, life gets simple. Life get's simple enough, things
start to make sense. Hey, I may have found a mantra...
To read this story