Derickson receives 10 year sentence


Nathan Derickson received the maximum sentence of 10 years Friday for the death of 17-year-old Garrett Sands.

Emotional and tragic those two words describe the shooting death of Terre Haute teenager Garrett Sands. And today the man who pleaded guilty in the shooting death of the local teen, learned how much time he’ll serve. 

The prosecutors, the defense team and the judge shed tears in the courtroom. They all said they have never seen a more tragic situation in their years of practicing law.  

Hugs and tears, emotions overflowed outside Vigo County Superior Court 5 Friday as a hundred people showed up to hear the sentencing of Nathan Derickson.  

“You know we are glad that the judge decided to give some executed sentence but obviously we argued for ten years,” Vigo County Prosecutor Terry Modesitt said.   

“I was pleased to see that it’s prison time,” Garrett Sand’s mom Jayna Sullivan said. “I was hoping for some sort of prison time for the severity of this crime. I felt like I got more justice then what I thought I was going to get but I think there was room for more.”  

Nathan Derickson received the maximum sentence of 10 years for the death of 17-year-old Garrett Sands. 

He could have faced 30 years, but he pleaded guilty to felony charge of reckless homicide with a firearm. 

Four years of Derickson’s sentence will be served in prison, with the other six will be served on probation. 

After time served, Derickson could end up only spending 2 years in prison.  

In March of 2018, Garrett Sands was killed from a gunshot wound to the head following a house party in Idle Creek Subdivision.  

It was a crime that continues to affect many people in the community. 

“It wears on you as far as you feel their pain and I think I can speak for my chief deputy and also that we both felt a lot of their pain,” Modesitt said. “We feel a big responsibility to do what we think is the right thing to be done in the case.”  

During the proceedings both families provided impact statements to the court and a slideshow of Garrett’s life was also played.  

For more than a year, Garrett Sands’ family have been waiting for the justice they witnessed today.   

When the verdict of ten years was given both families and Derickson broke into tears.  

“I’m Garrett’s mother,” Jayna Sullivan said. “Regardless of found guilty or innocent or how it was done intentional, unintentional, accidental, he knows he killed my son and an apology before all this would have been nice.  

“It’s hard to believe that he is sincere and not self-servicing,” Garett Sand’s stepfather Jason Sullivan said.”  

“I mean ultimately this is about Garrett and justice for that boy and that night was the end of his life and there’s a price to pay for taking someone’s life like that,” Jayna Sullivan said.   

Derickson was taken into custody right after the sentencing.  

He has 30 days to appeal and both sides tell me that an appeal is likely. 

Meanwhile, Garrett’s family will continue honor his memory through the Kindness Project in the community. 

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