By Steve Kallas
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Former Yankee Jim Leyritz was sentenced yesterday in Florida for his DUI conviction for a 2007 car crash where Fredia Veitch, a mother of two, was killed. In a totally separate case, present Met closer Francisco Rodriguez was sentenced today in Queens after working out a plea deal for his assault of the father of the mother of his children and for his disorderly conduct with the mother of his children (by sending text messages to her in violation of a court order).
Neither defendant was sentenced to jail.
According to sun-sentinel.com, Jim Leyritz “unleashed a well of remorse – and tears – as he discussed the toll of his drunken driving. ‘I changed lives, not just my life, not just the Veitches’ lives, but the lives of five children,’ the former Yankee ball player sobbed. ‘If I could change that, I would.’”
Judge Marc Gold then sentenced Leyritz to one year of probation, 18 days time served, a fine of $500 and 50 hours of community service.
The sentence did not sit well with either the prosecutor or the husband of the deceased. Assistant State Attorney Stefanie Newman, who asked the court to impose a four-month jail term and probation, told the judge that, on three separate occasions, in late 2008 and early 2009, the interlock device placed in Leyritz’s car pursuant to court order showed alcohol in his system early in the morning.
That’s scary stuff.
Ms. Newman stated, “He’s [Leyritz] still drinking and driving. This defendant has shown an arrogance to the court, an air of entitlement that he’s above the law.”
The dead mother’s husband, Jordan Veitch, stated that “Mr. Leyritz will be able to kiss and hug his children again. … Fredia will never have the chance to do any of these things again.”
After sentencing Leyritz, Judge Gold did tell him that if he violates his probation, “I will give you the maximum jail sentence.”
That will be of little solace to both the Veitch family and the prosecution.
According to sunsentinel.com, “Leyritz said he was a changed man after the accident and begged Gold for a second chance. ‘I can guarantee you I won’t disappoint anyone,’ Leyritz said.”
Hopefully, that will be true.
Mets closer Francisco Rodriguez avoided jail time by working out a plea deal and pleading guilty (today in state court in Queens) to attempted assault for punching out Carlos Pena (not the ballplayer but the father of the mother of K-Rod’s children) and agreeing to take 52 additional weeks of anger management classes.
In addition, K-Rod also pleaded guilty to two counts of disorderly conduct for sending numerous text messages to the mother of his children, Daian Pena, after being ordered by a judge not to contact her. According to the Associated Press, “Judge Mary O’Donohue ordered Rodriguez to keep away from the Penas for two years. He also was ordered to pay $14,444 in medical bills for Carlos Pena and was fined $1,000.”
If K-Rod does not fulfill the obligations of his sentence, he can go to jail for up to six months.
While K-Rod could have faced deportation to his native Venezuela, his attorney, Christopher Booth, said that would not happen based on the agreement with the prosecutors in the Queens District Attorney’s office.
His attorney also stated that K-Rod’s hand was healing well and that K-Rod was looking forward to the 2011 season.