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Judge Blasts Californians, Sentences Anaheim Boater

June 27, 1987|United Press International

KINGMAN, Ariz. — A judge has used the sentencing of an Orange County man convicted in a fatal boating accident to chastise Californians, whose antics he said are making the tourist mecca of Lake Havasu "a total disaster area."

Mohave County Superior Court Judge Steven Conn on Thursday sentenced Carl C. Hacker, 29, of Anaheim, to the minimum 18 months in prison for his conviction last month on three counts of endangerment in a Memorial Day weekend boating mishap.

Testimony showed Hacker, who was intoxicated, drove one of two boats that collided, killing two women and injuring six others--all from California.

Killed in the crash were Molly Roberts, 31, of Huntington Beach, and Karen Butcher, 25, of San Bernardino.

Hacker's endangerment conviction involved three passengers aboard his 19-foot speedboat that the prosecution said was "insufficiently lighted" and running "at an excessive speed" the night of May 25, 1986.

The driver of the other boat, Charles Salisbury, 49, of Riverside, faces manslaughter charges and nine counts of endangerment.

Salisbury, who was piloting a 21-foot speedboat, is scheduled to go to trial Sept. 22 in Kingman.

In sentencing Hacker, Conn criticized Californians for their behavior on Mohave County lakes and the Colorado River during summer holiday treks to Arizona.

"The locals stay as far away from the lakes as possible because all the crazy Californians come over here and make the place a total disaster area," Conn said.

The judge also said he believes this case is "typical" of why some Mohave County residents resent Californians.

Those involved in the case said they hoped the incident sends a summer safety message to water recreation enthusiasts.

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