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Beach man gets 18 months for wreck that killed friend

October 16, 2013 by Christy

The 19 year old victim’s mother never wanted the man responsible for her daughter’s death to be arrested.

That, however, didn’t keep a Circuit Court judge Tuesday from sentencing the defendant to 18 months in jail. He was drunk at the time of the Aug. 14, 2011, crash.

State sentencing guidelines recommended that the defendant receive only probation. Prosecutors asked for at least a year.

The defendant, now 24, pleaded guilty last year to involuntary manslaughter. According to court documents, he was driving his 2005 Ford F-150 pickup about 2:30 a.m., when he veered off the road and struck a tree in the 1200 block of Blackwater Road.

The crash drew the attention of a nearby resident, who found the defendant lying on the ground next to his burning truck. The man dragged him to safety, court documents said. The 19-year-old victim, who was in the passenger seat, died at the scene.

According to hospital records, the defendant registered a blood-alcohol content of 0.17, more than twice the legal limit for driving.

The crash broke both of his’ legs and seriously burned him. Over the past two years, the defendant has undergone 10 surgeries, according to Andrew Protogyrou, his attorney. He said that his client is coping with a staph infection and that his right femur “doesn’t exist.”

“He has a rod in there now,” Protogyrou said, asking the court for leniency.

Judge Brown said he believed that the defendant would never forget what happened to his passenger, but he also noted that the defendant had a history with alcohol.

In 2008, 2009 and 2010, the defendant was convicted in Virginia Beach of unlawful possession of alcohol, according to online court records. In 2009, he also was convicted of public intoxication.

Read the full article here.

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