Fruitts sentenced to 20 months in prison

By Kelly Ducote, The Observer January 17, 2014 12:34 pm

Harold 

Harold "J.R." Fruitts was sentenced to 20 months in a Department of Corrections facility Friday morning.

The sentencing follows a December conviction of criminally negligent homicide in the February 2012 death of John Rysdam III. 

Following his release, Fruitts is subject to a 36-month post-prison supervision. He was also ordered by Judge Brian Dretke to pay a $10,000 fine and reimburse the state for legal fees. His driver's license was permanently revoked.

"Johnny" Rysdam was killed Feb. 28, 2012, when a Ford Bronco driven by Fruitts struck him on Palmer Junction Road. Rysdam, a longtime county employee, and three other Union County Public Works employees were working to fill a pothole. During Fruitts' trial, he said he had not been paying attention and was messing with the stereo system prior to the crash.

See more in Monday's edition of The Observer.