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Morton Law Offices, Chartered

Melba Man Sentenced for Felony Vehicular Manslaughter

Posted on May 18, 2015

Recently, an Idaho District Judge in Owyhee County, Idaho sentenced a convicted Melba man, Jacob Canoy, age 37, for felony vehicular manslaughter as a result of an accident that occurred near Hemingway Butte in Owyhee County.

On March 26, 2015, Canoy allegedly drove his SUV off the side of a dirt trail which careened violently down an embankment resulting in the SUV rolling over and landing on top of his 21 year old girlfriend, Sara Bronson. Sara died at the scene of the crash after the SUV rolled over and pinned her to the ground. Canoy’s two children were also reportedly thrown from the vehicle and allegedly caused them to sustain multiple non-life threatening injuries, too. It was also reported by the authorities that investigated the accident that Canoy had traces of methamphetamine and THC in his blood at the time of the collision which led to Canoy’s arrest.

Canoy entered a plea of guilty to the charge of vehicular manslaughter, and the District Judge entered a sentence for Canoy to have him serve up to 14 years in the state penitentiary. However, the Court also decided to retain jurisdiction in the case which means that depending on how well Canoy behaves while in the custody, Canoy could be released as early as within one year of serving his sentence. When the Court retains jurisdiction for further evaluation following the imposition of a sentence, it is commonly referred to as giving the defendant "a rider."


Sara Bronson’s mother retained Boise Wrongful Death Trial Attorney Alan Morton of Morton Law Offices, Chartered to represent her and granddaughter for the wrongful death of Sara Bronson allegedly caused by the negligent driving of Defendant Jacob Canoy. It was reported that Canoy drove his 1999 Chevy Blazer SUV in an area meant only for dirt bikes and all-terrain vehicles when he lost control of his vehicle and careened down a steep embankment leading to the death of Sara Bronson and injury to his two minor children.

When beneficiaries of a lawsuit include a minor, Idaho law requires that the Court give its consent to the compromise of the minor’s claim before settlement can be completed. In cases involving the wrongful death of a minor’s parent, a conservator may be required to deposit the funds into a trust account for the minor child until the child reaches the age of 18 when the monies held in trust are turned over to the child. In Idaho, the conservator incurs the cost of preparing and filing an annual report to the Court regarding the disposition of the trust funds. The interest accrued from the funds held in trust in a conservatorship are also considered taxable income and, in some cases, the conservator is required to file an income tax return on behalf of the trust for the interest earned on the principal deposited in trust for the beneficiary.


Rather than depositing the funds in a trust account requiring the funds to be tendered to a minor child upon the child reaching the age of 18, the Court may approve a structured settlement where the net settlement proceeds are used to purchase an annuity to which the payment of the both the principal and interest may be deferred to a periodic payment schedule or a one time payment after the child turns 18. Currently, some annuity companies will allow the payment of a structured settlement up to 25 years from the date of the purchase of the annuity.

One of the advantages of acquiring a structured settlement on behalf of the minor is that both the principal and interest of the net settlement proceeds may be deemed nontaxable as income to the child if the net settlement proceeds are paid directly from the responsible party’s insurance company to the broker of the annuity. In order to obtain the tax benefits of a structured settlement, neither the client nor the client’s attorney can take possession of the net settlement proceeds used to purchase the annuity. The net settlement proceeds must be paid directly from the responsible party’s insurance company to the broker of the structured settlement who then pays the financial institution selling the annuity in order to preserve the tax benefits associated with a structured settlement. If the net settlement proceeds are approved by the Court to be paid directly by the responsible party’s insurer to the annuity broker, then the interest accrued during the term of the annuity is also tax free to the beneficiary throughtout the duration of the annuity. Furthermore, a conservator need not be appointed, and the structured settlement need not require the filing of an annual report to the Court. This can in some cases save the beneficiary hundreds of dollars in administration costs during the term of the annuity.

Another benefit to the beneficiary regarding a structured settlement is that the payment of the structured settlement need not be paid to the beneficiary on the 18th birthday of the minor child. The payment may be deferred by as much as 25 years from the acquisition of the annuity. This allows the beneficiary to the net settlement proceeds to obtain access to the principal and interest later in life when the beneficiary is at an age more appropriate to handle the acquisition of a large sum of money as opposed to receiving the payment at the age of 18 years of age when the child may be more susceptible to being able to squander the funds at a time in their life on items they may be less likely to spend upon at a more seasoned age.

This gives assurance to the parent or guardian of the minor that the minor will receive both the principal and interest accrued on a tax free basis and at an age where the beneficiary of the annuity has reached an age where they may be better suited to handle the responsibility of receiving a large amount of money instead of "dumping the cash" into the lap of a child once they reach the age of 18 when they may be subject to squandering the funds at a time in their life on items they may be less likely to spend at an older age.

Another concern addressed by a structured settlement is that the purchase of an annuity prevents a "conservator" from being able to mismanage or misappropriate the settlement funds requiring further action to restore those funds to the benefit of the beneficiary.

Sara Bronson’s mother filed a wrongful death action against Defendant Canoy for the alleged wrongful death of her daughter on her behalf and that of her granddaughter.

Ms. Bronson’s testimony regarding the results she obtained against Defendant Canoy for she and her granddaughter are as follows:

"Mr. Morton represented my family and I regarding the wrongful death of our daughter. He was accessible to me on a 24/7 basis and helped me tremendously. He helped me through a very stressful period in my life. The work he performed was extraordinary. Mr. Morton demonstrated that he was always concerned for our family’s well being. He certainly takes his clients’ feelings at heart. He is both compassionate and sensitive to the needs of his clients, but also aggressive in pursuit of their legal rights. I highly recommend Mr. Morton to anyone who may need a lawyer."



If you have lost a loved one due to the negligence of another, you should seek out the counsel of an experienced wrongful death trial attorney for a free initial consultation to ascertain your legal rights and remedies. Boise Wrongful Death Trial Attorney Alan Morton has over 32 years of experience helping victims of wrongful death obtain compensation for the losses they have incurred arising from the negligence of another institution or person. He is available to meet with you in an initial consultation at his office or your home, workplace, hospital or any other convenient location. Mr. Morton has helped thousands better under stand their legal rights and remedies. You can reach Mr Morton by calling 208.344.5555 or toll free 800.716.8021 or by completing an online contact form.

You may wish to review the many testimonials of Mr. Morton’s former clients he has helped over the past 32 years as well as review his qualifications and vast experience as a trial lawyer helping victims of personal injury and wrongful death seek and obtain compensation for the injuries and losses they have incurred due to no fault of their own.


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Alan Morton
Advocate for Justice/Trial Lawyer