Norwegian man appeals conviction for erratic driving in WinslowPosted: Updated:
NAVAJO COUNTY, Ariz. -- The Navajo County Attorney is sharing his side of an Arizona case that has drawn international attention.
Was 33-year-old Norwegian John Kristoffer Larsgard's wrong turn and erratic driving in Winslow, Ariz. the work of a confused foreigner, or a driver with malicious intent?
"It was not just a simple mistake of turning the wrong way on a one way street," said Navajo County Attorney Brad Carlyon. "What it was was conscious intentional decisions of a very agressive nature."
Carlyon argued against Larsgard during his March trial. He said Larsgard had a history of anger issues long before he passed through Winslow while driving from Los Angeles to Chicago with his mother. The county attorney said Larsgard snapped after making a wrong turn trying to get to a body shop in September of 2011.
What followed was curb hopping, reversing and u-turns that hurt a pedestrian and came inches from children on a sidewalk, all while people waived at him to turn around or stop.
"One woman is actually hit by his car as he's making that u-turn," says Carlyon.
Norwegian media grabbed on to the story immediately, much of it supporting the claims of Larsgard's defense, that he's the unluckiest guy ever.
Larsgard said he was confused and just wanted to get out of town and away from those angrily waving him off.
It took a jury just two hours to find Larsgard guilty of aggravated assault and other charges. Last week, a judge sentenced him to seven and a half years in prison. The case may be over, but Larsgard's defense continues on the Internet.
"What is really irritating me is there is now a website where he's seeking donations," said Carlyon. "A profit, money from threatening, harming, scaring the crap out of children and adults. That is wrong."
The money reportedly goes to Larsgard's mother, but Navajo County hopes donors aren't swayed by his side of the story alone.
The county attorney says it's likely Larsgard will only serve about half of his prison sentence.
In the mean time, Larsgard is appealing his conviction.
Calls to his attorney have not yet been returned.