Coban Porter, brother of Nuggets star, sentenced in fatal crash

April 19, 2024, 4:19 PM

Coban Porter, the younger brother of Denver Nuggets star Michael Porter Jr., was sentenced Friday to six years in prison for a drunken driving crash that killed a woman in Colorado last year.

The January 2023 crash in Denver killed Kathy Limon Rothman and seriously injured her passenger. Porter, who caused the crash after he ran a red light and slammed into the other vehicle, received an additional two-year sentence for the passenger's injuries that he will serve concurrently.

According to The Denver Post, prosecutors on Friday said Porter was speeding and had a blood alcohol level of .19, more than twice the legal limit of .08.

Porter had pleaded guilty in February to vehicular homicide and vehicular assault as part of a plea agreement that had reduced his sentence to a maximum of eight years.

"All I can really say is that I'm sorry," Porter told the courtroom Friday, according to the Post. "I know that I'm never going to be able to right that wrong. ... I never thought I'd be standing here. I thought I was invincible. It wasn't the first time I chose to drink and drive. I'm so sorry."

Michael Porter Jr. testified on his brother's behalf during Friday's hearing, saying in part, according to the Post, "I know that if I were in your shoes and it was reversed, I would have a lot of feelings as well." Others also spoke on behalf of the Rothman family.

Coban Porter had been a freshman on the University of Denver men's basketball team prior to the crash, averaging 11.4 points per game during the 2021-22 season.

Porter's sentencing follows Wednesday's announcement that the NBA had banned Jontay Porter, his and Michael Porter Jr.'s brother, after an investigation revealed that the two-way player for the Toronto Raptors had violated "league rules by disclosing confidential information to sports bettors, limiting his own participation in one or more games for betting purposes, and betting on NBA games."

Michael Porter Jr. missed the Nuggets' practice Friday to attend his younger brother's sentencing. His coaches and teammates are rallying behind him amid a trying week. 

"It has not been easy for him," Denver coach Michael Malone said. "That's why I give him credit, because he's carrying so much in his heart and on his mind. For him to go out there and do the job that he's doing, it speaks to how much strength that young man has."

Jamal Murray said Porter's family travails aren't a topic of conversation in the locker room.

"I don't think we've spoken to him about it. That's just not something we talk about," Murray said. "We're just keeping it professional here and we all support him. He's handling it really well. Obviously, it's not easy. But yeah, we're just letting him deal with it."

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.