A man who admitted in May to causing a crash in which his passenger lost an arm was sentenced to prison Tuesday in Albany County District Court with a recommendation that he participate in the boot camp program.

Connor Huffman, 20, was sentenced to three to five years in prison with credit for time served. Judge Jeffrey Donnell recommended that he be placed in the Youthful Offender Program. If he completes that program successfully, the court will consider a sentence reduction.

Court documents say Huffman got drunk at a celebration before driving erratically and crashing his red Chevrolet pickup into a tree on the evening of Nov. 26.

A tree branch pierced the windshield and hit Huffman's passenger in the upper arm. The passenger was treated at Cheyenne Regional Medical Center and eventually had his arm amputated.

A responding Albany County Sheriff's deputy found empty beer cans and a nearly-empty whiskey bottle in the truck. A breathalyzer test administered over three hours after the crash showed Huffman's blood alcohol content was .143, according to the affidavit.

"He did lose his entire arm," prosecutor Kurt Britzius said in court Tuesday. "There is nothing left."

Huffman's grandfather, Bill Jackson, spoke on Huffman's behalf at Tuesday's sentencing.

"We're here because Connor made a bad decision," Jackson said. "Every day of my life, my heart hurts. I wish it had never happened."

Kit Armour, executive director of the Platte County Chamber of Commerce, also addressed the court on Huffman's behalf. She said she met Huffman when he was hired at a ranch, and Huffman saved her horse's life twice.

"Connor is like an oyster -- he's got a rock hard shell," Armour said. "And then on the inside is this beautiful pearl."

Huffman said he takes full responsibility for the crash.

"I feel like whatever happens, I deserve it," Huffman said.

Donnell discussed his decision in sentencing the drunken driver who killed eight University of Wyoming Cross Country and Track athletes nearly 15 years ago, saying he worked to find a middle ground then and had done so again with Huffman.

"Your friend lost his arm, and he's never going to get it back," Donnell told Huffman. "You're the guy that made the decision to drive drunk."

"There has to be a degree of punishment," Donnell concluded.


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