OSSIPEE — Jason Nason, the Ossipee man who was recently convicted of being high on fentanyl when he caused the Sept. 13, 2016, motor vehicle crash that killed Janet Baumann and seriously injured her husband, Gary, will serve between four and 15 years in prison.
Agreeing more with the defense’s rather than the state’s sentencing guidelines, Judge Amy Ignatius, the presiding justice at Carroll County Superior Court, handed down that term Wednesday against Nason, 31, for his conviction on the charge of manslaughter. She said if Nason completes a substance abuse program, up to a year of his sentence may be suspended.
On his conviction for aggravated DWI, Ignatius sentenced Nason to between 3-1/2 to 7 years in prison, to run consecutively with the manslaughter term, and with none of it suspended.
For possession of narcotics, subsequent offense, Ignatius gave Nason a term of 7-1/2 to 15 years in prison, all suspended.
Given that the Baumann family has already won a $15.6 million civil judgment against Nason, Ignatius said she would not impose restitution of nearly $946,000 that the state sought as part of the criminal proceedings.
Earlier, Deputy Carroll County Attorney Steven Briden told Ignatius that the state was recommending that Nason serve 10 to 20 years on the manslaughter conviction, with some time suspended for completion of the substance-abuse program; two to four years for aggravated DWI; and five to 10 years for possession, all suspended.
Attorney Wade Harwood, who represented Nason, said the state’s sentencing recommendation was largely based on cases where someone sold fentanyl to another person who then died from ingesting it.
Those sentences, said Briden, were in the range the state presented for Nason.
But Harwood argued that Nason should be sentenced like an impaired driver who caused a fatality, citing several cases where the impairment, whether due to drugs or alcohol, resulted in much shorter prison terms.
Before sentencing, Nason addressed the Court, saying “I am really sorry for what happened,” adding, “I wish I could change what happened, but I can’t.”
Gary Baumann told Ignatius that Wednesday was exactly 1,001 days since his wife had been killed on Route 16 in Ossipee and his own body shattered when Nason’s Dodge pickup crossed into the oncoming lane and hit their Honda Accord.
Baumann listed the many injuries he was recovering from, but said that most significantly, Nason “broke my heart” and it was something “that cannot be repaired.”
He said he appreciated people’s expressions of sympathy about the “loss” of his wife, but noted that it would be more correct to say, “she was taken from me, she was killed.”
A former pediatric nurse, “Janet lived her life to bring life into the world,” said Baumann, summing up that “Ossipee will never know what it lost” when his wife was killed.