Snowbank shooter gets five months

Garrett Neese/Daily Mining Gazette Jared Freeman, seen with his attorney David Gemignani, was sentenced to five months in jail in Houghton County Circuit Court Wednesday.

HOUGHTON — A Hancock man arrested in March after shooting at a snowbank he had driven into while intoxicated was sentenced to five months in jail in Houghton County Circuit Court Wednesday.

Jared Freeman, 37, was charged with driving while intoxicated – third offense. The charge is punishable by either one to five years in prison, or a probation sentence of 30 days to one year in jail.

Sentencing guidelines put Freeman’s recommended sentence at zero to 11 months, keeping him to jail time.

Freeman said he wanted to get back to his job, which his employer has held for him, and to his regular alcohol treatment meetings.

“To go from one day to the next, it doesn’t seem like much, but for someone like me it is,” he said. “It reminds me every week of what happened, and I can never make it go away.”

Prosecutor Brittany Bulleit said Freeman needs to continue his treatments for substance abuse and mental health problems.

“If he doesn’t and he continues these types of behaviors … he will end up back here again, and eventually he’ll end up in prison,” she said. “The will be no other choice after a certain amount of drunk driving.”

Freeman’s attorney, David Gemingnani, said since the incident, Freeman has been proactive about regularly attending meetings and seeking treatment from his doctor while he was out on bond.

“He recognized the wrong that was done and did what he could in his power at that time to remedy that,” he said. “He didn’t blow that off, and wasn’t nonchalant about it.”

Gemignani had Freeman turn his back to the judge to show the “inmate worker” designation on his jail jumpsuit, which he has had since shortly after his sentence began. He praised Freeman as polite, respectful and insightful.

“He takes pride in what he’s doing, even if it’s mopping the floor,” he said.

Judge Charles Goodman said even prison time is far from the worst-case scenario Freeman could have faced.

“Anytime an individual gets home or even finds themselves where you are, they’re in reality lucky,” he said. “They’re lucky because they did not cause someone to die, because of drinking and driving. They’re lucky that they didn’t ruin their physical well-being or cause themselves to die because of drinking and driving … if you keep this up and keep testing your luck, sooner or later, that luck will dry up.”

Freeman received credit for 47 days served.

As a condition of Freeman’s plea, the prosecutor’s office did not seek a charge of assaulting, resisting or obstructing a police officer. Freeman also had to forfeit his Glock pistol to police.