Laramie Taxi Driver Sentenced For Drunk Driving
A Laramie man who seriously injured a passenger in his cab after drunk driving has been sentenced in Albany County District Court.
James Leroy Rollman, 63, was sentenced to six to nine years imprisonment for felony Driving While Under The Influence Resulting in Serious Bodily Injury. Rollman was given credit for the time he has already served since his arrest in March of 2015.
The charge stems from an accident in March that caused serious injuries to a fare paying passenger in Rollman’s ABC Taxi vehicle. Prosecutors say Rollman was illegally operating a cab in Laramie during the early morning hours of March 6 when he was in a one-vehicle wreck that resulted in his passenger being flown to a Colorado hospital for a neck fracture.
Rollman pleaded guilty to the charge in April.
The victim in the case spoke during the sentencing, saying how much the accident has affected his life. He told District Court Judge Jeffrey Donnell that he served in the army until November of 2013, and that the accident has made things difficult in his life. He said he had acquired more than $100,000 of medical bills for injuries sustained during the accident, not including further physical therapy and other damages.
The victim also said that he had to put his schooling on hold, and he did not know if he would ever be able to complete his degree.
Additionally, he told Donnell that he has had difficulty playing with his five-year-old daughter as a direct effect of the neck injury sustained in Rollman’s cab. He said he was thankful that no child was in the cab to be injured by Rollman’s actions.
Rollman told Donnell that he was working to become a better person.
“I’m a good man. I’m far from perfect, and I try to do what is right,” Rollman told Donnell.
He said he failed to do the right thing the night of the accident and said he wished that he would have been the lone injury as a result of his choices.
He said that he was continuing to grow as a person, and asked for a sentence that could help him on that path.
“I have learned more in the last thirty to ninety days that I have in thirty years,” he told Donnell.
He promised Donnell that he would be a better person moving forward.
Candace Pisciotti, Rollman’s public defender, asked Judge Donnell for a sentence of probation. She noted that Rollman would need to pay a large amount of restitution, and asked for a probation sentence so Rollman could enter the workforce and earn an income to help pay what was due. She said Rollman has been remorseful for injuring his passenger.
Prosecuting Attorney Kurt Britzius asked Donnell for the maximum sentence of ten years imprisonment. He noted that this was Rollman’s fourth arrest from drunken driving.
“Mr. Rollman could not be more of a danger to the community,” Britzius told Donnell.
Judge Donnell told Rollman that it was by “virtue of sheer dumb luck” that he was facing a maximum of ten years and not the twenty years he would face if his actions resulted in a death.
“The state of Wyoming is sick and tired of picking up the broke and dead bodies from the roads and highways left behind by drunk drivers in this state,” Donnell said.
He described Rollman as a “serial drunk driver” who minimizes his actions in every way. He noted that this was Rollman's fourth arrest for drunk driving, but that some of the cases were too old for the court to know if they resulted in convictions.
“Why don’t you admit that you were drunk—again—and you almost killed somebody?” Donnell asked of Rollman.
In addition to the six to nine years imprisonment, Rollman must pay $56,292.82 in restitution to the victim, an amount Donnell said “barely scratches the surface” of actual damages in the case.
Donnell also submitted a recommendation of an in-patient treatment program for Rollman’s alcohol abuse.
Rollman was remanded into custody after the sentencing hearing.