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Man convicted as teen in triple-fatal crash put in treatment court in DUI case

A man convicted in a triple-fatal DUI crash two decades ago when he and the victims were teenagers — and who is facing a pair of recent DUI cases — was admitted into a moderate offender court program for one of the cases.

Justice of the Peace Joe Bonaventure said Thursday that the Las Vegas Justice Court program will address what Sean Larimer’s public defender described as “a serious addiction to drinking.”

Bonaventure then issued a suspended six-month sentence for the Las Vegas case, which stems from an August DUI arrest, and transferred Larimer’s case to the DUI Treatment Court.

“I could simply impose a jail sentence and be done with this case today,” Bonaventure said, “but I can almost guarantee Mr. Larimer will be right back here after serving a jail sentence; it doesn’t serve the community well.”

Bonaventure noted that the specialty court program — which runs for at least a year — provides “stringent monitoring” for the impairing substances it bans.

Larimer, who is jailed without the possibility of bail, will remain in the Clark County Detention Center at least until after a hearing next Thursday in front of Justice of the Peace Cynthia Cruz, who will determine his custody status, Bonaventure said.

Usually, Bonaventure noted, participants of the DUI court are placed on high-monitoring house arrest and can have the original sentence reimposed if they violate their condition of release.

Larimer, 36, also has a pending DUI case out of Henderson after police there said he crashed his car into a wall in the parking lot of the M Resort in January.

Chief Deputy District Attorney Eric Bauman said Clark County prosecutors agreed with Bonaventure’s Thursday decision.

“Treatment rather than a short period of incarceration has a better chance addressing the underlying problem here, and protecting the safety of the community in the future,” he said.

As a 15-year-old, Larimer caused a fatal crash that killed Travis Dunning, Josh Perry and Kyle Poff, the three also age 15, in November 2003. The crash also injured Cody Fredericks.

In December, after his August arrest, Larimer pleaded guilty to DUI and initially agreed to a 30-day suspended jail sentence, DUI traffic school and community service.

But around the time of his January sentencing hearing, Larimer was arrested in Henderson. Bonaventure delayed the hearing and put Larimer on electronic monitoring, ordering him to not consume alcohol.

Bonaventure issued a bench warrant for his arrest last week after the court found out that Larimer was “continuously consuming alcohol” while out of custody.

“I think it’s an appropriate punishment,” argued Larimer’s attorney Max Berkley before Bonaventure issued a ruling. “I think it also accomplishes the hope of him receiving the treatment he needs.”

Contact Ricardo Torres-Cortez at rtorres@reviewjournal.com.

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