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Dexter teen sentenced to 23 years.

Byline: Diane Dietz The Register-Guard

Dexter teenager Kevin Krauser escaped a murder charge on a claim of self-defense last week, but he got more than 23 years in prison Thursday for injuring his girlfriend and threatening a surrounding group of people in the second burst of bullets.

Lane County Circuit Judge Lauren Holland lectured Krauser and the witnesses who had been involved in the bloody trailer-park fight just after midnight April 29.

She chastised them for speaking about each other in a degrading way when they were on the witness stand - calling each other "homey" and "bro."

Violence does not a man make, she said. Neither does carrying a gun.

"What it does is land you in prison," she said.

With that, Holland stacked multiple weapons charges on top of assault charges to fashion for Krauser an unusually long sentence. He won't be eligible for parole for 18 years.

A jury acquitted Krauser, 19, last week of murder charges stemming from the same incident. The jury found that Krauser acted in self-defense when he shot and killed Dexter resident Jerry Ray Burnett.

The guilty verdict on the assault charge - which alone will cost him five years and eight months - was for shooting his own girlfriend, Coreana Slaughter, that night.

She was struck in the stomach, was in critical condition but did not lose the baby.

She sat in the jury box wearing prison greens during the proceeding. She's serving two years for helping Krauser during a February burglary and assault.

Before the sentencing, Krauser begged the judge with a tear-strained voice to be lenient so he could marry Slaughter and be a good father to the baby she carried.

"Most of all it shouldn't have happened, but it did. I'm here to accept responsibility," he said. "There were a lot of people around. It was crazy. It was tragic."

But Assistant District Attorney Michael Pugh said the sentence fit Krauser's crimes. "It sent a good message," he said.

Several of the young men involved in the fight said they knew Krauser since elementary school. One, Jonathan Olafson, said Krauser went through changes when he was growing up, becoming a racist, at first, and then a member of the "Street Disciples," a Crips gang affiliate.

But it was two carloads of people that confronted Krauser after midnight near his mother's trailer in the Lakeside Mobile Home Park at 39098 Dexter Road - just south of the old Dexter Lake Club.

Gloria Mays, 43, mother of one of the young men who escaped the bullets, said the group went to confront Krauser because he'd made threats against one of their group.

On the way, she said, they picked up Burnett, 48, because he was a father-figure to them.

The defense had argued they picked up Burnett because he had guns, including a 9 mm pistol, an assault rifle, a shotgun and an Uzi pistol - though no other gun than Krauser's was found at the scene.

Mays said the judge must have believed the defense attorney's portrayal when she lectured witnesses about their degrading treatment of each other.

"They call each other homey. It's not a gang-related thing. They call me homey," she said. "They're a group of kids who were traumatized so they take comfort in each other."

Mays said she was Burnett's domestic partner for 16 years.

She wore a T-shirt bearing his photo - he had a flowing gray beard - and the years of his foreshortened life: 1957-2006.

Burnett was disabled eight years ago by an injury to his back that he got as a nursing assistant, she said. He spent his time weaving leather into peace signs that he gave away to friends, she said.

"He was a very giving individual. He would have done anything for his kids," she said.
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Title Annotation:Courts; Though acquitted of a murder charge in an April fight, a judge sentences him on assault and multiple weapons counts
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Date:Dec 15, 2006
Words:630
Previous Article:Construction nears in Eugene on downtown apartment project.
Next Article:Sentence doubled for fatal blow.
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