RIVERHEAD, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) — A judge has handed down the maximum sentence to a man convicted in a drunk driving crash that took the life of a Long Island teenager in 2012.
He was sentenced to a minimum of 10 2/3 and a maximum of 32 years in prison on Monday, 1010 WINS’ Mona Rivera reported.
‘I’m sorry. I’m ashamed. My actions were inexcusable,’ were some of the remorseful words spoke by Grasing at the sentencing, Rivera reported.
Prosecutors said Grasing had a blood alcohol level four times the legal limit and was speeding when he rear-ended 18-year-old Brittney Walsh’s car on Montauk Highway in Lindenhurst, causing it to tumble off the road.
Walsh was headed to her parents’ house after work – blocks from home – when the deadly crash happened. Surveillance video showed Grasing’s speeding car going up to 100 miles per hour.
The young woman had only just graduated from high school two days before the deadly crash.
‘You murdered my daughter,’ Walsh’s mother Cheryl shouted at Grasing moments before the sentencing, WCBS 880’s Mike Xirinachs reported.
As CBS2’s Jennifer McLogan reported, Grasing’s attempt at an apology was like a punch in the gut.
Cheryl Walsh told Grasing she will never forgive him.
“His apology I cannot accept, and I won’t accept,” she said.
“No winners. All losers today. She was my baby, and my wife’s baby,” Thomas Walsh said.
Brittney was a dancer, soccer and lacrosse player, a member of the debate team, and a volunteer and leader in her community.
“I cannot see my child ever again. There is no comfort in this,” Cheryl said.
Walsh’s mother said she feels the West Babylon man got away with murder since the jury rejected the second-degree murder by depraved indifference charge.
“We still have to live without Brittney. I mean he might be living, he’s still living in jail, he’s still seeing his parents, he’s still seeing everybody, he still can see his child. I cannot see my child ever again,” Cheryl said.
Grasing was found guilty of manslaughter, DWI, leaving the scene of the crash and other charges.
“I am not faulting the jury. I am asking the legislature to consider changing the statute,” Suffolk county District Attorney Thomas Spota said.
Spota said jurors hands are tied because the language is unclear and drunk driving penalties aren’t tough enough for someone mixing alcohol and 2-ton missile.
The Suffolk County judge said the reckless nature of Grasing’s deadly behavior demanded the maximum sentence and will hopefully serve as a deterrent for others who drink and drive, Xirinachs reported.
With blistering language the judge told Grasing that while serving his sentence he dwell daily on his 4-year-old son Mikey, who will grow up without a dad due to what the judge called selfish, recless, incomprehensible actions.
Grasing’s lawyer, William Keahon, said with time already served and time off for good behavior, he should be released in 16 years when he is 50 years old, Rivera reported.
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