Air Force vet, drunk driver who killed soldier during third DUI receives slap on wrist


Fort Carson, CO – A habitual offender of drinking and driving will never spend a day in prison after taking the life of an active-duty soldier.

Daniel Swecker, 47, an Air Force veteran, was convicted of his third driving under the influence charge after being arrested for causing a deadly accident on Feb. 25, 2012.  Nearly two years later, he was sentenced to six years in prison for taking the life of 24-year-old Nelson Marvin Canada, a U.S. Army soldier assigned to Fort Carson, but was allowed stay out on bond while he appealed his conviction.

Nelson Marvin Canada (Office of the District Attorney, 18th Judicial District, Colorado)

Swecker was driving 80 mph on I-25 in his Ford Excursion SUV when he hit Canada, throwing him 124 feet. Swecker fled the scene -leaving Canada’s body in the road- to a gas station where he called his wife to pick him up.

He was found to have a blood-alcohol level of .118 roughly two hours after the accident.

Nelson Marvin Canada’s SUV (Office of the District Attorney, 18th Judicial District, Colorado)

Swecker never stepped foot in a prison while his appeals were denied all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. He was able to get a motion to have his sentence reconsidered granted though. Yesterday, a judge reached a decision, changing his sentence to 90 days jail on each count of which he was found guilty.

He will only serve 180 days in jail and four years probation, starting on March 5th.

Daniel Swecker (Office of the District Attorney, 18th Judicial District, Colorado)

“I respect the court and the process the court employed, but I respectfully and strongly disagree with the decision,” said District Attorney George Brauchler. “This was a guy who was operating on his third DUI. He ran over and killed an active duty soldier, one who had survived a deployment to Afghanistan only to be run over by a repeat drunk driver. Then, Swecker fled the scene to avoid apprehension and responsibility. He never himself said he was responsible for killing this good man. Today he walked out of here not having to spend 10 seconds in prison.”

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