Eagle-Vail man gets 90 days in manslaughter
Vail, CO Colorado
EAGLE-VAIL, Colorado ” An Eagle-Vail, Colorado man, who plead guilty in February to manslaughter, was sentenced in an Eagle County courtroom Wednesday to three months in prison and four years probation.
Jacob Weiss allegedly handed his roommate Joshua Hall a loaded shotgun on Sept. 15. Hall shot and killed himself shortly after, according to the Sheriff’s Office. Reports say the two men were drinking and talking about suicide that night in the Mountain Stream Apartments in Eagle-Vail.
Weiss was arrested and charged with manslaughter (assisted suicide), reckless endangerment and prohibited use of a firearm. In addition to jail time and probation, Weiss will also be required to do 80 hours of community service a year and attend Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, which he has already been doing.
The defendant’s lawyer, Jesse Wiens, requested Weiss receive no time in jail as part of his sentence, but Judge Thomas Moorhead’s ruling included 90 days in Eagle County jail.
Weiss’ sentence started Wednesday.
Before Moorhead gave his ruling, he commended Hall’s family members for attending and speaking at the hearing.
“There is nothing the court can do to relieve the pain,” Moorhead said. “The value of his life is not measured by what occurs here.”
Weiss told the judge at the hearing that not an hour goes by where he doesn’t think about the night his roommate died.
“I too am at a loss from all the pain,” Weiss said.
Weiss said he wants to “face up” to what happened.
“I want to do what I can to put others before me including Josh’s family and memory,” he said. “I want to be there for anyone that needs help.”
Both Weiss and the friends and family that spoke on his behalf said he’s matured since Sept. 15.
His AA sponsor told the judge Weiss is an example of someone that can recover from a life-changing incident and that he would be better off outside a jail cell.
“His time could be spent so much more effectively,” his sponsor said.
Several members of Hall’s family spoke at the hearing. They all said the pain they’ve experienced since Hall’s death has been incredible.
Hall’s aunt, MaryJo Hall-Spurgeon, read a letter his mother, who couldn’t be at the hearing, wrote.
“Words alone could never describe this great sadness,” his mother wrote. “He should not be given a slap on the wrist.”
Greg Hall, Hall’s father, asked Moorhead to give Weiss the “maximum sentence.” His grandmother Kay Hall said the family had lost one of its “greatest treasures.” Hall’s sister, Alyssa, said the incident changed her life.
Staff Writer Chris Outcalt can be reached at 970-748-2931 or firstname.lastname@example.org.