His maximum possible sentence under the agreement—though not the sentence itself—has been reduced from mandatory-life-without-parole to twenty years. A felony murder conviction will be on his record forever, and even when his as-yet-undermined sentence is served and completed, he will suffer the consequences for the rest of his life.
I tried calling his mother Mikki last night, but there was no answer at her South Dakota home. She is almost certainly in Bismarck on their joyless business. Nick’s attorneys are probably doing their best to raise her spirits, but I am certain this is a difficult undertaking as she comes to terms with the fact that her son and family are entering a frightful and previously unimagined new state of existence.
I’ve been silent about Nick’s case and its background because his attorneys asked me to. I will not be free to tell the full story until the court proceedings are completed, but it’s now becoming clear to me that when I do share it, it will be a narrative about how bad things do sometimes happen to good people.
How bad is still too early to say. It will depend only in part on the severity of the sentence the court will hand down. It will depend more on how Nick uses this experience to learn and to improve his life.
Nick is a young man with very positive qualities, some of which helped get him into this situation. You’ll understand when I tell his story. Those same qualities will, I believe, ultimately be his salvation. Anyone who knows Nick must have faith that he still has a promising future.
It will just be a different future than everyone imagined.
Groove of the Day