Judge Philip Kirk summed up his opinion of Rory Kuenzi with one word: sociopath.
“You are a knuckle-dragging Neanderthal,” Kirk said.
Kirk sentenced the 26-year-old Kuenzi to a total of 23 years of confinement in state prison and another 26 years of extended supervision.
Kuenzi was convicted Nov. 18, 2010, of hit-and-run involving death and of homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle after a four-day trial. He appeared in court Friday, Jan. 14, for sentencing.
On Oct. 23, 2004, Kuenzi killed Kevin McCoy after driving from an underage drinking party at a home on Butts Road in the town of Farmington. McCoy was 20 years old at the time of his death.
During sentencing, Kirk addressed McCoy’s family.
“I cannot imagine the unspeakable horror when you heard about your son’s sudden death,” Kirk said.
The judge then noted that McCoy had not been killed intentionally and that the parents should lay aside wrong attitudes that could eat away at their health and their hearts.
“Surround yourself only with the people who are concerned about you,” Kirk said.
Kirk also noted that the delay in bringing Kuenzi to trial “was a good thing.
“I think there would have been a different result,” Kirk said, “Not guilty.”
Kirk said the state attorney general was able to bring more time, money and resources to bear on the case than a small county district attorney’s office.
The judge also noted that McCoy violated some of the same laws as Kuenzi had. At the party, both were underage and consuming alcohol; both had been smoking marijuana.
Then Kirk turned to Kuenzi and said, “I believe you have those traits that make you beyond redemption.”
Kirk read off a litany of Kuenzi’s criminal behavior: reckless endangerment, substantial battery, operating while intoxicated, operating a vehicle after revocation, stalking, bail jumping.
“You beat up the mother of a couple of your children,” Kirk said. “Actions speak louder than words.”
Kirk also discussed the deer-slaying incident from January 2009. Kuenzi, his brother and a friend were charged with felony cruelty to animals after they killed half a dozen deer with their snowmobiles.
Reading from the Department of Corrections’ pre-sentencing report, Kirk noted that Kuenzi told the investigator that he believed the media blew the deer charges out of proportion. Kuenzi reportedly said that he had used snowmobiles to hunt the deer because, as a convicted felon, he was prohibited from using a gun and he needed to feed his family.
“Your comment is absurd,” Kirk told Kuenzi. “You put something like that on a resume if you’re applying for a job at a village looking for an idiot.”
While the “mauled carcasses of the deer pale in comparison to the dead body of a young man,” Kirk said the incident reflected Kuenzi’s lack of human decency and anti-social personality.
“There is not a bit of contrition or remorse reflected in your behavior,” Kirk said.
Kirk said he considered the two counts to be separate crimes and sentenced Kuenzi for each count. Kuenzi will serve eight years in prison and 11 years of extended supervision on the first count of hit-and-run involving death and 15 years in prison and 15 years of extended supervision on the second count of homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle. The sentences will be served consecutively.
“I hope it’s impossible for you to harm anyone else,” Kirk said.