Office of the District Attorney - Maggie Fleming, District Attorney
October 8, 2020
On October 7th, 2020, Judge Timothy Canning sentenced Nathan Michael LaCount (age 40) to 8 years in state prison for violating the terms of his probation. LaCount received probation from Judge Kaleb Cockrum in March of this year, after LaCount pled guilty in February to charges linked to incidents in 2016 and 2019. In the 2016 incident, LaCount crashed a vehicle causing injury to a passenger, whom he left on the side of the road and fled the scene. In the 2019 incident, LaCount drove while methamphetamine-impaired and crashed again, injuring his 3-year-old child. Since 1999, LaCount has been convicted of driving under the influence eight times in addition to multiple convictions for evading law enforcement and hit and run. He has been offered many programs and been given many opportunities to alter his behavior.
LaCount’s sentencing in March included an 8-year prison sentence recommended by the District Attorney’s Office, but the prison sentence was suspended over the D.A.’s objection, pending successful completion of an in-patient drug/alcohol treatment program in San Francisco. LaCount began the program in March, but left after less than a month. Warrants were issued for his arrest at that time, and a second time after he was apprehended, released on bail, and failed to appear for a July court date. Using information provided by a community member, District Attorney Investigators made contact with LaCount in Arcata, but he escaped by ramming their vehicle. Additional information from community members allowed Eureka Police Department officers to apprehend LaCount the next day. District Attorney Maggie Fleming said, “Mr. LaCount’s long record of interaction with the criminal justice system makes clear that as people receive opportunities to alter their criminal behavior that endangers others, for the sake of public safety there should be increasing consequences for failing to take advantage of those opportunities. Thanks very much to the people who improved public safety by providing information that helped us get LaCount off the streets.”