Bradley W. Ise got mad enough in July 2010 that he rammed the borrowed Chrysler he was driving into the back of a Chevrolet Impala traveling on Interstate 635 in Platte County.
But Ise didn’t stop after the crash, and moments later he intentionally swerved into a second vehicle, a white Ford Fusion, on Interstate 29 near 64th Street, causing it to spin and slam into the concrete median wall.
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Ise, who had 35 prior traffic convictions and more than 50 convictions overall, sped away without stopping.
On Tuesday, a Platte County judge decided that was enough and sentenced Ise to 20 years in prison.
The 39-year-old Platte City man is going to prison for the wrecks he caused on July 22, 2010. A jury found him guilty in February of second-degree assault, leaving the scene of an accident, two counts of first-degree property damage and driving with a revoked license.
“Twenty years may seem like a long sentence, but the reality is that the law finally caught up with Bradley Ise’s repeated road rage incidents,” Platte County Prosecutor Eric Zahnd said. “He had been menacing drivers on area highways for years. In my opinion, had he not been stopped, it was only a matter of time before he seriously injured or killed someone.”
Defense attorney Marilyn Keller said her client was disappointed with the sentence and plans to appeal the verdict. Keller, who entered the case after the verdict, declined to comment further.
Zahnd said that in the incident, the driver of the Fusion saw Ise driving erratically on I-635 and strike the Impala. It appeared Ise was angry about not getting through traffic and was making aggressive moves toward the Fusion. The driver of the Fusion saw Ise wait on the shoulder of I-635 near I-29 and then cross several lanes of traffic toward his vehicle.
Just south of 64th Street, Zahnd said, Ise swerved into the Fusion. The crash left the tail of the Fusion on the median with its front end pointing toward oncoming traffic, Zahnd said.
Ise was charged as a prior and persistent offender. He had been found guilty in August 2009 of three counts of felony aggravated assault in Johnson County. Ise was driving a car when those assaults occurred.
He was sentenced to three years in prison but placed on probation. Then in 2011, Ise was sent to prison for violating the conditions of his probation, according to court records.
Zahnd said the Platte County prison term imposed by Circuit Judge Abe Shafer was appropriate.
“This is certainly a lengthy sentence, but Mr. Ise also has one of the most extensive criminal histories I have ever seen,” he said. “Enough was enough.”
On Tuesday, Shafer sentenced Ise to 10 years in prison for assault, four years for each of the property damage counts, one year for leaving the scene of an accident and one year for driving with a revoked license. He ordered that Ise serve those sentences consecutively, a total of 20 years.
On the surface, the prison sentence appears to be harsh, but a number of factors come into play when a judge imposes a sentence, according to criminal defense attorneys not involved in the case.
“Part of sentencing isn’t just a crime but what’s the guy’s past, what’s his history?” said Mark Ferguson, who handles traffic and other felony cases. “When you look at an individual that has multiple prior DUIs, speeding tickets or anything and when you put it into perspective, I don’t think it (the prison sentence) is excessive.”
Katee Porter, who also handles traffic cases, said community standards can affect the outcome, and Platte County is known for taking a firm stand with offenders. She said judges aren’t hesitant to impose harsh sentences to protect the public, and they also lose patience with people “who thumb their nose at the law.”
“At some point, someone has to get tough on them,” Porter said.