Erik MacKenzie Conn, convicted in 2012 of causing a fatal collision while text messaging, reported to jail on Tuesday for violating a lifetime ban on driving.

Conn was caught operating a motorcycle on a state highway in Bend last year, in violation of a penalty handed down in 2012, when he was convicted of criminally negligent homicide for causing the death of Forrest Cepeda, 16.

On Tuesday, Conn, 35, reported to Deschutes County jail to begin serving a 10-day sentence.

The 2011 death of Forrest Cepeda was a highly publicized event in Bend. Forrest had been biking to a friend’s house when he was struck and killed by a truck driven by Conn. Moments before the crash, Conn, then 28, had been texting two people, including the person seated beside him in the truck.

Judge Alta Brady sentenced Conn to 24 months in prison and ordered his license revoked for life. With credit for time served factored in, Conn was released from prison after 18 months.

On Aug. 31, a sheriff’s deputy stopped Conn on U.S. Highway 97 near the Empire Boulevard exit while driving a 2001 Honda ACE. He was arrested on suspicion of driving while his license was revoked, a felony.

He pleaded guilty in February and was sentenced this month by Judge A. Michael Adler to 36 months probation and 10 days in jail. Special conditions include complying with child support payments and paying full restitution to Forrest Cepeda’s grandfather and guardian, William Howiler, who spent nearly $5,000 as a result of the crash and death of his grandson.

In January, Cepeda was memorialized with a street sign warning against texting while driving at the site where he died on SE Reed Market Road near Pettigrew Road.

Reached Wednesday, Howiler said he was grateful to the city for the sign.

“Yes, we were not at all pleased with the sentence that (Conn) got,” Howiler said. “But the fact that he was still driving on a revoked license does not surprise me at all.”

Howiler said Conn has yet to pay him any of the restitution ordered by the court.

Along with a valid driver’s license, a motorcycle endorsement is required by the DMV to operate a motorcycle that can go faster than 30 mph.

Conn has prior convictions for third-degree sex abuse in Deschutes County, and transporting special forest products in Klamath County.

He is scheduled to be released from jail next week.

— Reporter: 541-383-0325, gandrews@bendbulletin.com

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