Victim responds at Karl sentencing
Many of us probably have no idea what we were doing the night of Aug. 8, 2008.
Sally Gonzalez, of Elmore, hasn’t forgotten the horrific events of that night, and the resulting pain remains in her heart.
“I still have nightmares. It was a scary situation. My life and my children’s lives have changed forever,” Gonzalez told the Register.
On Tuesday, more than a year and a half later, she was forced to relive her boyfriend’s six-hour armed standoff with authorities.
Kevin Robert Karl, of Blue Earth, was sentenced on three charges he pleaded guilty to last October.
Gonzalez did not attend the sentencing, however, her written victim’s statement was read.
The 30-year-old Karl was originally charged with two counts of second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon, domestic assault and reckless discharge of a gun.
While awaiting trial, Karl was charged with one count of making terroristic threats to Gonzalez and harassment, when he called her in March 2009. He also was charged with hunting without a license, when he took his son hunting and used a friend’s license.
Defense attorney Jason Kohlmeyer asked Judge Douglas Richards that no jail time be imposed because of the burden it would place on Karl, a small-business owner.
He says his client has received chemical dependency treatment and an anger management assessment, for which he owes at least $2,000.
Kohlmeyer also requested a recommendation in the pre-sentence investigation — that Karl have no contact with anyone under age 18 — be modified.
In a plea agreement last October, Karl pleaded guilty to a felony count of ter-roristic threats, gross misdemeanor harassment and a misdemeanor for not having a hunting license.
Before being sentenced, Karl was given an opportunity to speak.
“My actions that night were absolutely horrible. I know it affected many people, and I know the drinking in my life had to change,” he says. “I do take credit for my actions. I definitely deserve a punishment, but I do ask for lesser time.”
Karl will spend a total of 90 days in the county jail and receive credit for time served. He also received stays of imposition of one year for two counts and was fined more than $4,100.
He was placed on probation for up to five years and some of the conditions include:
• cannot have contact with the victim;
• must enroll in an anger management program;
• supervised parenting of his children with persons approved by the mother;
• abstain from use of chemical substances;
• attend two AA meetings a week;
• and complete outpatient psychotherapy and anger/depression therapy.
For Gonzalez, the case has lingered on way too long, and the penalty imposed wasn’t nearly enough.
“Where has the justice system been on this?” says Gonzalez. “I know of individuals who have served more jail time for a lesser crime.”
According to court documents, law officers responded to a call around 11:13 p.m. on Aug. 8 regarding an armed male who was inside a residence at 9184 377th Ave., Blue Earth.
When authorities arrived they found Gonzalez standing outside the house behind a tree and talking with county officials on her cell phone.
Gonzalez told a sheriff’s deputy that her 5-year-old daughter was in the house with Karl, who had a gun.
“My gut-wrenching tears of fear and not knowing if my daughter was dead or alive suddenly, in an instant, turned into tears of gratitude all because of these three words that cross the scanner, “Where’s my mommy?” Gonzalez wrote in her statement.
While Gonzalez hasn’t been able to erase the ordeal from her mind, she’s ready to move on.
“There’s been lots of therapy and I’ve taken a good look at my inner-self. I’m ready to stand up for myself,” she says. “All this is part of God’s plan for me. I honestly believe that.“
Gonzalez has learned from her experience and has become a stronger, more confident person.
Last October, she took part in CADA’s (Committee Against Domestic Abuse, Inc.) Peace Walk in Mankato.
Gonzalez says the rally was mainly for surviving family members of abuse victims.
She was asked to speak at the event held at a park. And, her message was simple.
“I just wanted people who have suffered from the effects of domestic abuse to know they aren’t alone. There is hope,” she says.