A Minnesota family has expressed outrage after the teenager who killed their son in a brutal knockout attack was sentenced to a mere 10 years in prison. 18-year-old Jesse Smithers pleaded guilty last November to second degree murder in the death of 20-year-old Colton Gleason, but a judge ruled that he will be back out on the streets well before he hits 30. Even worse, Smith’s time in jail might only last five years; he could be released on good behavior when he’s 23 if he doesn’t commit any felonies behind bars.
“We’ve been given a life sentence by this cowardice attack and murder of our son. He’ll serve a very few short years and he’ll be back out again, and our son is gone forever,” said Colton’s father, John. “This group was out there and their intentions were very clear. This is unprovoked. They stopped and they saw someone they thought they could victimize. Colton didn’t have a chance to even turn and defend himself when somebody blind-sided punched him.”
The incident took place in September 2012 in the city of St. Cloud. Colton was walking with his friends when a car pulled up beside them and Smithers got out and punched him. One punch was all it took to ultimately kill Colton. Speaking in court during the sentencing, Smithers apologized to the family and called the situation “a complete accident,” but Gleason’s family wasn’t buying it.
“Somebody didn’t just run over and hit a car and provoke an attack. This was an attack that was meant to happen,” said Colton’s mother, Julie. “He was just fun to be with all the time, and he was always hugging and telling everyone he loved them.”
(Photo: St. Cloud Police Department)