SKOWHEGAN (AP) – A Skowhegan man’s voice cracked with emotion as he apologized for causing a fatal crash for which he’ll serve two years in prison.
Marcel Redmond, 19, was sentenced Thursday under an agreement in which he pleaded guilty to manslaughter and drunken driving in connection with the Feb. 11 crash that claimed the life of his friend, 16-year-old Jonathan McGrail.
He also pleaded guilty to charges stemming from a May incident in which he gave police a false name when he was caught with alcohol in a car driven by minors.
Redmond was ordered to serve two years of a 10-year sentence.
Under the sentence, Redmond will be prohibited from using alcohol and will be subject to random testing during his probation. He will lose his license for at least 10 years.
Redmond’s blood-alcohol content was 0.15 percent at the time of the crash in Mercer, police said. The legal limit for driving for adults in Maine is 0.08 percent.
The crash happened after McGrail, Redmond and another teenager had gone off-road driving in a Jeep. All three had been drinking, said District Attorney Evert N. Fowle.
Superior Court Justice Joseph Jabar said Redmond’s actions were reckless but he never meant to hurt his friend. Redmond’s age – 18 at the time of the crash – and lack of criminal history were mitigating factors, he said.
But Jabar said it was disturbing that Redmond was found in possession of alcohol in a car only a few months after the accident that killed his friend.
“How do you deter conduct if even as he is awaiting sentencing, he is out engaging in this kind of conduct?” asked Jabar.
During the hearing, McGrail’s mother, Rosa McGrail, said she was hurt by the loss of her son but she said did not want to see another young man’s life destroyed. “There is nothing that can be said or done to return my beautiful baby to me,” she said.
Information from: Morning Sentinel, http://www.onlinesentinel.com/