WAUKESHA -- A Pewaukee man was sentenced on Wednesday, March 13 for the crash that killed his 3-year-old son. But the judge chose not to send Nicholas Dischler to prison.
"I just want to start by saying, 'I'm sorry' to my son," Dischler told the court.
Dischler tearfully owned up to the role he played in the death of his son.
"I have no doubt that had Nathaniel been properly secured, we would not be here today," said Judge Jennifer Dorow.
In July 2018, Dischler was celebrating his son's birthday at a campground. Prosecutors said after an evening of heavy drinking and little sleep, Dischler drove home.
"The defendant, prior to leaving, never put Nathaniel in a car seat," said the prosecutor.
On his way home, Dischler nodded off at the wheel -- and struck a tree. Prosecutors said the female passenger was ejected -- and his son was dead in the back seat.
"There are consequences when poor choices are made," Judge Dorow said.
Those consequences for Dischler were handed down Wednesday afternoon.
"Mr. Dischler, the sentence of the court will be as follows. I'm going to withhold sentence, place you on probation for a period of five years," Judge Dorow said.
A detailed investigation found that minimal traces of alcohol were in Dischler's system at the time of the crash.
The doctor who conducted the autopsy of Nathaniel stated if he had been properly restrained in a car safety seat, he would have likely survived the crash.