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Superior man gets prison for fatal hit and run

A Superior man will spend 10 years in prison for fleeing the scene of a fatal vehicle-pedestrian accident in Superior.

In July, a Douglas County jury found Jeffery Swager, 48, guilty of hit and run resulting in death stemming from the incident on Aug. 17, 2012. Sentencing took place Tuesday in Douglas County Circuit Court.

Prior to the sentencing, Swager stood up to address the family of Eugene David Renko, 61, the man who died.

"I apologize to the family for not remaining at the scene of the accident," he said, adding it was total disrespect on his part. "I'm truly sorry for your loss."

It's obvious the incident has had a profound and everlasting effect on Renko's family, Judge George Glonek told the courtroom. Unfortunately, he said, whatever sentence the court imposes will not bring Renko back.

In deciding the penalty, Glonek factored in Swager's long criminal history, which stretched back to the 1980s and included 23 convictions for charges ranging from burglary and theft to a prior hit and run.

The judge found Swager presented a danger to the public. He sentenced the Superior man to 10 years of confinement and five years of extended supervision, consecutive to his current sentence. Swager was ordered to undergo a chemical dependency evaluation, maintain absolute sobriety, undergo random urinalysis and pay about $5,200 restitution for funeral expenses.

According to the criminal complaint:

Swager was driving the vehicle that struck Renko, a pedestrian, at the intersection of Hughitt Avenue and Broadway Street the night of Aug. 17, 2012. Renko died of his injuries during surgery a few hours later. Although he fled the scene, Swager turned himself in to authorities two days after the incident.

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