NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A former New Jersey police officer has been given the maximum sentence on every count after a wrong-way crash on Staten Island killed two fellow officers.
Pedro Abad, 29, will spend at least 8 1/3 years in prison up to a maximum of 25 years. He was found guilty of aggravated vehicular homicide, aggravated vehicular assault, manslaughter, assault and reckless endangerment charges.
The sister of Officer Joseph Rodriguez, who was killed in the crash, spoke out in court.
“You didn’t want to take a plea deal and you made me and my father sit through this brutal trial,” she said.
Roseanne Rodriguez told reporters she hates Abad and hopes he dies in prison.
The sister and father of Officer Frank Viggiano were also in court for the sentencing, but declined to speak to reporters.
Abad previously said in court that he prays to the victims every day and that he “knows they are happy in heaven.”
During sentencing, Judge Mario Mattei mentioned that remark.
“How do you know they’re happy?” Mattei said. “I don’t believe they were in such a rush to get to heaven, and you put them there.”
The judge also told Abad he has no idea of the magnitude of what he did, pointing out that Abad sent the judge a letter pleading for probation or one year in prison.
“This sentence ensures Mr. Abad is held accountable for the lives he destroyed when he decided to get behind the wheel and drive drunk,” said District Attorney Michael E. McMahon.
Abad has said he doesn’t remember much of anything from that deadly crash in March of 2015.
Abad, a former Linden officer, was accused of driving drunk in a wrong-way crash that killed two fellow officers. A third officer was seriously injured, as well as Abad, who spent months in the hospital.
Authorities said the four men had just left a strip club in Staten Island, one that Abad says he went to often.