Coulter Cook, 27, pleaded guilty in August to vehicular homicide and driving while intoxicated in connection with the death of 59-year-old Reed “Bart” Rutledge. His plea agreement capped his sentence at six years. Prosecutor Alfred Quintana asked the judge to impose the maximum sentence, while Cook’s defense attorney Erlinda Johnson asked the judge for probation.
Second Judicial District Judge Brett Loveless said he recognized that while Cook had no criminal history and expressed “a great deal of remorse,” he also “got behind the wheel of a car and drove in a neighborhood and killed a man.” He also pointed out that Cook’s crime was set in a society packed full of messages reminding citizens about the destructive consequences of driving drunk.
Cook described his own actions as “reckless” and “irresponsible” as he told the judge and a full courtroom that an apology would not begin to describe how terrible he feels.