Mark Chalin begs for mercy, gets four years for killing two in driving-while-having-sex wreck

Categories: Crime, Sex
mark chalin rect 2.jpg
Submitted image of Menezes via Mankato Free Press
Chalin (left) was allegedly having sex with Menezes (right) when he crashed, killing Menezes and another driver.
Mark Chalin's criminal vehicular homicide sentencing hearing was quite the dramatic affair.

SEE ALSO: Brian Wutschke allegedly drove down University Ave. fellating a sex toy

Emotions ran high as Chalin, a 24-year-old Mankato resident, said he was sorry and begged a judge not to send him to prison. According to a Mankato Free Press report, after a judge doled out a 50-month sentence yesterday, the mother of Amber Menezes -- Chalin's 23-year-old girlfriend who was killed in a driving-while-having-sex wreck in Blue Earth County on August 7, 2011 -- kneeled on the courtroom floor and tearfully begged Chalin to "do good. Make the best of this."

Menezes' mother then pounded the floor with her hands and could be heard saying, "Nobody wins."

In addition to Menezes, another woman, 35-year-old Jonna Martin, was killed in the crash, the circumstances of which are detailed in our blog post from October:
Chalin was allegedly driving and having sex with Menezes when he crossed the center line on Blue Earth County Road 90 and slammed into a vehicle driven by Martin. Both Martin and Menezes died. Chalin suffered 26 broken bones, a damaged bladder, and spent 45 days in the hospital, but survived.

Investigators concluded Chalin was distracted, inattentive, and had his vision obscured at the time of the crash. He was charged in February.

[On October 1], Chalin entered an Alford plea, meaning he denies guilt but acknowledges there's enough evidence to convict him.
The sentencing hearing included dramatic testimony on both sides of the issue. Some made a case that Chalin is a caring kid who doesn't deserve to spend years in prison, while one of Martin's four children simply said, "I feel sad because I want to see my mom."

Details about Chalin's relationship with Menezes come courtesy of the Free Press:
Mark Chalin was already sobbing when Birkholz asked him to sit in the witness chair and describe his relationship with Menezes. Chalin said she started living with a friend after she was kicked out of her house. For two weeks prior to the crash, they had been living together at Chalin's apartment on Byron Street.

They had gone to his father's wedding in Blue Earth the day before the crash. He introduced her to his family and friends, they danced and they had a few drinks at the reception. Chalin echoed [Menezes mother's] description of her daughter when he said everyone immediately became friends with Menezes.

They spent the night at Chalin's father's new home near Delavan and he said they were sober when they left for Mankato on Aug. 7. He said the last thing he remembers before the crash is turning on to Highway 169 and heading north.
After District Court Judge Bradley Walker announced Chalin's just-over-four-years sentence, he said: "It's not my job to make people happy... I just hope everyone can walk out of this courtroom thinking about how someone's life can change in an instant," the Free Press reports.

Chalin will be eligible for supervised released after about three years.

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14 comments
MaryAnn
MaryAnn

The true story is AMBER WAS MARRIED TO ANOTHER MAN!!! She was cheating on her husband.. it's too bad that the press makes her out to be a victim.. there was only one victim, the mother of the 4 children. Amber was just as much a criminal!

Joel O'Brien
Joel O'Brien

He'll enjoy himself. He loves sex so much that he couldn't pull over, and now he'll get it constantly for four years.

swmnguy
swmnguy topcommenter

I'm not sure a prison sentence is the best possible solution to this.  Clearly an action this irresponsible, with such tragic consequences, requires serious remediation.  Wouldn't it be better if this young man had to do something to support the family of the woman he killed?  He has hardly escaped consequences already, having lost his girlfriend (who wasn't exactly innocent in this) and been severely injured as a result.

I don't know what the best answer is, and maybe 50 months in prison (well, whatever it will be assuming good behavior etc.) is the best solution.  But it seems to me a lot more good could be done some other way.  The kid who wants to see Mom isn't any more able to see her because this young man is in prison.  But this young man isn't going to be able to do anything or meaningful for anybody for 50 months or so.  Seems like a waste to me.  I'd like to see us as a society move away from having defendants punished by the State, and move toward having them do something to remedy, or at least address, the damage they have caused.  Especially when we aren't dealing with a hardened (ahem) criminal whose action, stupid and dangerous as it was, was not intended to direct violence at anyone.

Erica Anderson
Erica Anderson

Chalin sure has some nerve to beg the judge to not send him to prison. While I believe the wanker is remorseful all right, remorseful he got caught. If he really was sorry, he'd put his big boy pants on & take his sentence like a man.

Kelly McNutt
Kelly McNutt

Jeff Schwartz: I think the judge actually said that after he sentenced Chalin. Still agree that he's way out of it, though, with this "Alford plea" denying any guilt thing. Some sad, sad BS.

Will Thorson
Will Thorson

Jeff, the Judge said that last quote. I think the guy knows he did wrong.

Jeff Schwartz
Jeff Schwartz

Dude is way out of it. Before the crash happened, all he was thinking about was himself, otherwise he would have at least pulled over as an act of moral decency. He says "its not my job to make everyone happy". Ahh, his actions resulted in 2 people loosing their lives, so guess what fucker, its now YOUR job to make everything better.

Carla Mayer
Carla Mayer

Despicable to be able to deny any guilt for such reckless behavior. Then why the need to defend it beg if you didn't do anything wrong?

jack
jack

And the judge just destroyed a third life. 

Erica
Erica

4 Years is not a death sentence. There are consequences for actions like what Mark did.  The judge did the right thing. The whole sad situation could have been totally avoided but Mark (and his girlfriend) chose to partake in an act that cost two lives.

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