For Immediate Release
Media Contact: Bob Cooper
Date: January 23, 2007
Donald L. Swan Pleads Guilty to Vehicular Manslaughter
(Boise) – Donald Lee Swan, 41, of Riggins today entered pleas of guilty to two counts of vehicular manslaughter, Attorney General Lawrence Wasden said. Second District Judge John R. Stegner set a sentencing hearing for April 13 in Grangeville.
The charges resulted from an August 15, 2003, collision near Riggins, Idaho that claimed the lives of Victor and Alvi Calcagno. At the time of his death, Victor Calcagno was a 37-year-old resident of Orem, Utah. Alvi Calcagno was the 7-week-old son of Victor and Altagracia Calcagno. Altagracia Calcagno was also injured, as were two passengers in Swan’s pickup truck.
On February 26, 2004, Swan pleaded guilty to two counts of vehicular manslaughter and one count of aggravated driving under the influence. He was subsequently sentenced to serve a minimum of 15 years in prison.
Following that sentencing, Swan’s attorney informed the court that, based on the attorney’s understanding of a conference with the prosecuting attorney and the sentencing judge, the attorney told Swan that if Swan pleaded guilty he would receive no more than a four-year fixed sentence.
After interviewing several witnesses and reviewing the evidence, the state concluded that Swan’s guilty pleas were based upon his erroneous belief that he would receive a fixed sentence of no more than four years. Accordingly, the state entered into a stipulation to set aside the 2004 pleas and sentences and to retry Swan.
As a result of Swan’s guilty pleas today, a new trial will not be necessary.
The Attorney General’s Special Prosecutions Unit handled the case at the request of Idaho County Prosecuting Attorney Kirk MacGregor. Deputy Attorney General Justin Whatcott prosecuted the case.
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