by Matt Kroschel Grand Junction- The man who ran down four people at the country and western bar, Cactus Canyon, was sentenced Tuesday after hours of family testimony.
Robert Helwig was sentenced to 14 years in the department of corrections and five years mandatory parole. Helwig plead guilty as part of a plea deal. He has already served one and a half years. Helwig was originally charged with four counts of first degree attempted murder, as well as first degree and second degree assault, but under the plea deal the maximum sentence for this type of crime was 16 years.
Helwig is accused of running over four men in the parking lot of Cactus Canyon in July. All four had to be hospitalized with serious injuries.
Family members of the victims spoke out at the sentencing hearing and asked the judge for the maximum sentence. Helwig's mother and father spoke and blamed the tragic incident on alcohol and described their son as a man with a golden heart who would give any one the shirt off of his back if they needed it.
The judge said he did not believe Helwig was "evil" but did think he is responsible for running down the four men out front of the bar.