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Cave Junction man will go to prison for causing fatal crash

A Cave Junction man whose car was sheared in two during a drunken-driving crash that killed a passenger will serve a little less than four years in prison, a judge ruled Thursday.

Erric Scott Fisher, 20, was sentenced to 46 months in prison as part of a deal in which he pleaded guilty to criminally negligent homicide and driving under the influence of intoxicants. The Holland Loop Road crash killed Austin Pedro, 35, on April 18, 2015.

The sentence was not long enough in the eyes of Pedro's younger sister, Tara Pinto, who drove from Bend for the sentencing, held in the courtroom of Josephine County Circuit Judge Pat Wolke.

"He made a conscious decision to drink, and he made a conscious decision to drive," she told the court. He lacks a criminal record — which could impact the length of a sentence — because he's so young, she added.

She said Fisher's failure to appear at an initial sentencing date on July 11 showed a lack of remorse.

Fisher's defense attorney, Laurie Norman, said that she saw Fisher in the courthouse the afternoon of what was supposed to have been a morning sentencing and said he got the time wrong.

He has consistently been remorseful in his conversations with her, she said, and was distraught at the time of the crash.

Fisher spoke briefly in the courtroom.

"I know what I've done is wrong, is reckless," he said. "I apologize for what I've done."

Fisher was also sentenced to three years' post-prison supervision and ordered to pay court fees and $3,210 in restitution.

Following the sentencing, Pinto said that Fisher or his relatives could have shown sympathy toward her or expressed an apology to her for the loss of her brother.

She got a tattoo of her brother on her upper arm, based on a photo taken the last time she saw him. The family is from this area, and Pinto moved away from Cave Junction a couple of months before the fatal crash.

Her brother wasn't a heavy drinker, she said, but his girlfriend of five years invited him to come to a party. Cambria River Lin Cook, then 22, was in the front seat of the vehicle during the crash and was seriously hurt. Fisher suffered only minor injuries.

"It just baffles me how people get more time for drug-related crimes than for killing someone," Pinto said.