I-Team: Gragson’s legal team pushes for minimum sentence


LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Scott Gragson is scheduled to be sentenced tomorrow. He killed a young mother and according to prosecutors, substantially injured two others while driving under the influence in the exclusive Ridges in Summerlin last year.

The I-Team has been following the case closely and is looking into Gragson’s legal strategy, described in newer court documents.

Gragson’s attorneys say he should be judged by his entire life, not just the single day of May 30, 2019, when he sped from a guard gate at The Ridges and crashed.

Mother of three Melissa Newton was killed.

A forensic toxicologist estimated Gragson’s blood alcohol level at 0.21 at the time of the crash. The legal limit is 0.08.

In February, Gragson pleaded guilty to DUI resulting in death and DUI resulting in substantial bodily harm. Other charges were dropped.

A judge is expected to sentence him Friday. The maximum sentence is 10 to 25 years, whereas the minimum is six to 15.

Gragson’s attorneys have presented letters of support from family members, like his wife and daughter, to friends, like Jon Ponder, who runs Hope for Prisoners and was recently pardoned by President Donald Trump. Supporters describe him as a successful businessman who is loving and charitable.

An attorney representing two of the passengers and Melissa Newton’s family wrote they reached a civil settlement with Gragson, and they approve of a sentence of six to 15 years.

According to court records, Gragson reached a settlement with Newton’s family for $21 million.

Attorneys also presented video statements from tennis pro Andre Agassi and businessman and Republican campaign consultant Sig Rogich. In addition to presenting Gragson’s numerous connections throughout the community, his legal team is also pointing to his family history, including his grandfather, who was elected mayor of Las Vegas in 1959.

Court records also reveal Gragson’s participation in Alcoholics Anonymous and that he went to an exclusive and high-end treatment center in Sundance, Utah. According to its website, it’s complete with horse arenas, gardens and more.

Now, he will likely be headed to prison.

As attorneys argue for the minimum, their message to Judge Michael Villani is Scott Gragson is a remorseful man who made a terrible mistake.

Gragson’s attorneys, David Chesnoff and Richard Schonfeld, sent the I-Team the following statement:

Mr. Gragson has accepted full responsibility for his actions and is deeply remorseful. He has spent the time since the accident continuing with his charitable endeavors and educating others about the consequences of his actions and expects a fair sentencing hearing tomorrow. 

David Chesnoff and Richard Schonfeld

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