JUNEAU – A 25-year-old Randolph man who was sentenced to two-and-a-half years of incarceration after a drunken driving crash that killed his friend will be released from incarceration two months early.

Anthony J. Crescio was sentenced to two-and-a-half years of incarceration and seven-and-a-half years of extended supervision in December 2010 after pleading no contest to a charge of homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle in July 2010.

The charges stemmed from a Dec. 19, 2009, crash. The criminal complaint states that Crescio lost control of his car on a curve on Highway 73 south of Randolph. The vehicle rolled and filled with snow. The passenger in the vehicle was pronounced dead at the scene.

Judge John Storck heard from Crescio and district attorney Kurt Klomberg Wednesday morning concerning a motion from Crescio for early release. The motion asked that Crescio’s release date, scheduled for June 4, be moved up and the last few months of his incarceration be added to his extended supervision.

Crescio told the court via telephone that he had completed almost all of his exit modules for release, earned 59 college credits while in prison, written a book about the crash and his experiences and planned to begin college in the fall.

“I’ve been accepted to Marquette University and Marion University with academic scholarships to each,” Crescio said.

He has not had a single conduct report and has received commendations for his volunteer efforts, especially sandbagging during floods while he was at Prairie du Chein. He has also gone to schools and other groups to speak about what happened and the dangers of drinking and driving.

District attorney Kurt Klomberg argued that Crescio’s behavior did not change the original crime.

“Ultimately, Judge, the court’s sentence in this case was purely for punishment,” Klomberg said. “I appreciate the fact that Mr. Crescio has done a number of good things since he has been in prison.”

He pointed out that the crash that Crescio is serving a sentence for was his third drunken driving offense in nine months. He had previously been caught in Columbia County in March 2009 and July 2009.

Letters were also submitted from Klomberg and from Richard Schneiter, the victim’s godfather.

Schneiter’s letter asked Storck to grant the reduction in sentence, because he believed it was what the victim would have wanted.

“I am absolutely certain that Pugs [Dustin Vredeveld, the victim] would want you to reduce Tony’s sentence,” Schneiter’s letter read. “I am sure it would mean a great deal to Tony’s family if he were to come home a couple months before his intended release in June. It would also provide Tony a chance to speak at some high schools prior to summer vacation. His story will be a powerful one and will have a positive impact on young people.”

Klomberg’s letter noted that while Crescio had done well in prison, he should not be rewarded for it.

“Mr. Crescio has been a model inmate… I commend him for conducting himself in this manner. However, I do not believe this warrants early release. I think we, in Dodge County, get used to very poor behavior on the part of inmates. When we see something like the perfect conduct reports of Mr. Crescio, we think this is some monumental showing of excellence – it is not. It is exactly the way prisoners are expected to act,” Klomberg’s letter said.

Storck said that he had never seen an inmate who had done so well and worked so hard while in prison.

“I usually get these requests and I reject them without a hearing,” Storck said. “I don’t know what would be accomplished by keeping him in prison those two months…If this is not a case that justifies this, I don’t know what case does.”

Storck granted the motion, noting that it will not shorten the length of his overall sentence. It will lengthen the extended supervision. He also noted that it may take up to 30 days for the order to go into effect.

“Your thanks to me can be that you get out and you do what you need to do to get through this sentence,” Storck said.

tpruett@capitalnewspapers.com

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