Crash suspect sent to prison

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A man accused in a fatal crash near Spirit Lake was sent to prison this week on unrelated charges.

Jose F. Sosa Jr, 55, of Coeur d’Alene, was sentenced to as many as 10 years in prison for probation violations leading up to his arrest May 15 when the car he was driving rolled over on the Spirit Lake Cutoff Road killing a juvenile who was ejected.

Sosa was driving under the influence of drugs, according to a police report, and was transported to Kootenai Health to treat his injuries.

In the hospital, he threatened to take hostage his probation officer and commit suicide by cop, according to court records.

The incident was the latest mark in a criminal history that dates back to 1980, First District Judge Scott Wayman said.

Sosa was convicted of felony driving under the influence in 2010, felony eluding in 2015, and felony possession of a controlled substance a year later. He served prison time in California, and was charged with several probation violations stemming from Kootenai County cases including absconding from probation.

When Wayman asked at Tuesday’s hearing if Sosa understood the latest probation violations, which would earn him a lengthy prison stay, Sosa said he did not understand because he was on medication.

“These are the wrong meds,” Sosa said. “They affect my brain. I am mentally retarded. I do not understand.”

Wayman simplified the question.

“You used drugs and alcohol and you missed your appointments,” Wayman said.

According to a report, Sosa smoked meth, marijuana, and drank alcohol at least twice a week. He failed to report to his probation officer and failed to be tested for drugs and alcohol leading up to the fatal wreck at 7:30 p.m, May 15, near the intersection of Spirit Lake Cutoff and Peregrine roads, north of Spirit Lake.

Idaho State Police released little information regarding the crash. According to a report, Sosa and two teens were northbound in a green, 1995 Subaru Legacy when the driver lost control of the car, drove into the ditch several times striking mailboxes until it overturned and came to rest on its top. The road was blocked for six hours.

The names of the juveniles were not released.

Sosa has not been charged in connection with the fatal crash, but a sealed file has been added to his criminal history.

The court often seals files until a suspect can be formally charged.

Sosa is being held in the Kootenai County jail.

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