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Former surgeon gets 30 years for homicide by intoxicated driving

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Former surgeon Mark Benson might have gotten Wisconsin's toughest prison sentence ever for homicide by intoxicated driving.

He was given 30 years yesterday for causing the April 2008 rear-end crash that killed Oconomowoc educator Jennifer Bukosky, her unborn child and her 10-year-old daughter.

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Benson admitted being high on prescription drugs at the time. But because he's a three-time drunken driver, it spurred calls by the governor and Legislature for tougher laws against OWI.

Waukesha County Circuit Judge Mac Davis said he could think of only one other case in Wisconsin where a person convicted of homicide under the influence got 25 years.

But the judge said the public needed to be protected from the 56-year-old Benson.

He'll be locked up until just before his 87th birthday.

Bukosky's father Michael said Benson should die in prison, saying "He should not be able to kiss his wife or embrace his daughters until I am able to do so."

Fourteen people spoke at the four-hour sentencing hearing, and many called for the maximum of 53 years.

His lawyer, Dean Strang, asked for a 10-20 year sentence to give Benson a "chance for redemption." Benson again apologized and took full responsibility for the crash.

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