No Prison for John Ludwig, Jr.

In a ruling issued today, Circuit Judge James C. Williams, Jr. rejected a motion by the 13th Circuit Solicitor to consider a tougher sentence for John Ludwig, Jr.

Ludwig pleaded guilty to reckless homicide in November 2009, and will serve three years probation and 500 hours of community service. 62-year-old Frederic “Bill” Bardsley died when Ludwig’s car slammed into his home.  Ludwig’s attorney’s claimed he lost control of his speeding vehicle when he swerved to hit a deer.

Judge Williams reaffirmed the original sentence, noting Ludwig’s lack of a criminal history and sincere “remorsefulness for his misconduct,” as well as the sensational media treatment of his crime. The judge also wrote:

A number of impressive character witnesses testified on behalf of Mr. Ludwig. His life has been characterized by hard work, kindness, generosity and unselfishness.  The court believes that the community is better served by punishment that allows Mr. Ludwig to continue to use these traits as a working, productive member of society than by any sentence that would hinder his further contributions.

13th Circuit Solicitor Bob Ariail, who filed the motion for reconsideration, released a statement Friday expressing gratitude for the court’s consideration of the motion and acceptance of the decision.

Ludwig also pleaded guilty Friday to assault and battery of a a high and aggravated nature in connection with a 2008 incident.

Benjy Brown, the victim in the assault and battery case, told the judge how scared he was the night Ludwig broke in his apartment in July of 2008.  Brown was romantically involved with Ludwig’s ex-wife at the time.

“It was clear that he wasn’t there to talk to me. He was there to hurt me,“ said Brown in open court. He claimed Ludwig has not followed his bond at all. Brown says Ludwig contacted him over 50 times and offered to pay him for dropping charges.

Brown says his life is “forever changed” by what Ludwig did.

So much for Judge Williams’ assertion that “Ludwig has no criminal history.”

His sentence of five years (suspended to three years probation) will be served concurrently, resulting in no additional penalty.

WYFF4 has extensive coverage of today’s court proceedings.

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