NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A former NYPD detective convicted in a drunk driving manslaughter case has been sentenced.
Kevin Spellman was given three to nine years in prison for the death of Bronx grandmother Drane Nikac in a 2009 crash.
Spellman silently walked into a Bronx courtroom Friday for his sentencing with an army of plainclothes police officers there to show their support. On the other side of the courtroom was Nikac’s large Albanian family.
Nikac’s heartbroken granddaughter, Sarah Junjuc, pleaded with Judge Steven Barrett to give Spellman the maximum five to 15 years.
“She was a grandma, very caring and loving and it hurts because we didn’t get to say goodbye to her,” she told CBS 2′s Amy Dardashitan.
A jury convicted Spellman of second degree manslaughter in December following an emotionally grueling two month-long trial.
Experts testified that Spellman’s blood-alcohol level was three times the legal limit five hours after hitting 66-year-old Nikac as she crossed West 232nd Street around 6 a.m. on Oct. 30, 2009. She had been killed while on her morning walk in Kingsbridge, just one day before her granddaughter was set to be engaged, Dardashtian reported.
Prosecutors said Spellman was off duty and driving an NYPD vehicle when the incident occurred.
Nikac’s family said sending Spellman to jail is closure and hopefully a warning that bottles and badges should never mix.
“My grandmother will never be back and I hope, I really hope this will prevent it from happening again,” said Junjuc.
Spellman’s attorney told the judge his client has been remorseful for Nikac’s death since the time of the crash.
“From 2009 to now hes been tortured by what happened,” the attorney said.
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