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Fiancée of man killed in I-70 road rage incident happy with shooter's 22-year sentence

Kevin Piaskowski
Posted at 4:52 PM, Mar 20, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-20 19:37:28-04

DENVER — The fiancée of a man who was killed in a road rage incident on Interstate 70 in July 2022 said she is happy with the 22-year sentence that was handed down to the shooter Tuesday.

Tamra Holton said she misses the little things from her time with Kevin Piaskowski.

"It's just the day-to-day things — coffee and breakfast and movies and walks," Holton said. "We had gotten engaged a month-and-a-half before he was killed. So we, you know, we were best friends."

Piaskowski was on his way home when he was killed during a road rage incident at I-70 and North Quebec Street on July 31, 2022. Prosecutors said the shooter — Jameel James — was driving a stolen vehicle at the time of the incident.

James, now 18, pleaded guilty in September 2023 to second-degree murder in connection to Piaskowski's death. He was 17 years old at the time of the shooting. He was sentenced on Tuesday to 22 years in prison.

Holton said the family was hoping for the best but preparing for the worst.

Fiancée of man killed in I-70 road rage incident happy with shooter's 22-year sentence

"Given, like, history and, like, statistics and how juveniles are treated in the system, it's very unlikely to get anything," she said. "I think we all went into it expecting the worst, which would have been seven years in a youth facility center. So when we heard 22 years, we were all pretty relieved."

In a statement, Denver District Attorney Beth McCann said Tuesday that James was "old enough to know what he was doing and must be held accountable."

“This was a senseless and completely unprovoked murder on one of Denver’s major highways. Mr. Piaskowski was simply driving his car when he was shot and killed by Jameel James,” said DA McCann, “Although Mr. James was young at the time, he was old enough to know what he was doing and must be held accountable for this tragic event. We agree with the judge’s sentence and hope that it sends a message to young people in Denver that the use of guns to cause injury and death will not be tolerated.”

Holton said it's important that she continues speaking out.

"I think there's a lot of shootings that have taken place that are with youth and underage people that are, you know, if we would have gotten to trial, he could have walked free depending on how that went," said Holton, "I just think it's time for them to start making a change, you know, the justice system and treating them more like adults."

Although no amount of jail time can bring Kevin back, the fiancée hopes this can help spark a change.

"There's like no justice that will feel that's ever served. But given the circumstances and entering a plea deal with him guaranteeing time instead of going to trial, we all felt that it was almost closest to the max of the sentencing he could have," said Holton.

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