FARMINGTON — A Massachusetts businessman was ordered Friday to serve 90 days of a two-year sentence for leaving the scene of a deadly accident in New Vineyard last year.

Franklin County Superior Court Justice Michaela Murphy also sentenced Domingos Medeiros, 50, of Assonet, to serve two years probation, do 200 hours of community service and pay a $5,000 fine plus surcharges. She found him guilty in May.

After the sentencing, defense attorney Walter McKee filed a notice of appeal of the
verdict and Murphy agreed to let Medeiros remain free on $3,000 bail pending the appeal.

Medeiros was hauling 17-foot beams to his Hard Pine Inc. business in Fall River, Mass., from a job in Kingfield on Jan. 16, 2008, when more than a ton of lumber fell out of his trailer, some of it striking two cars on Route 27. About a half-dozen of the 6½-inch by 12-inch beams went through the windshield of a car, killing the driver, Stephen McKenney, 55, of New Portland. Some wood struck the front of another car, which was following McKenney’s. The driver and passenger of the other car, Katherine Jones of Camden and her daughter, received minor injuries.

Assistant District Attorney James Andrews said Friday that the victims deserved an accounting from Medeiros of what happened, but instead he left the scene knowing he had lost a load of lumber and went home. Medeiros evaded police, Andrews said.

However, Medeiros and Massachusetts attorney Emile Morad said the Franklin County Sheriff’s Department was called the day after the accident.

Andrews argued Friday for a sentence of two years in prison and two years of probation, while Medeiros’ attorney argued for no jail time in favor of community service.

Medeiros testified at trial that he couldn’t explain why he didn’t know he had lost the load of beams. “I regret with all my heart the decisions I made that night,” Domingos Medeiros said Friday. He should have called police, Medeiros said, after he learned he had lost the beams. “I regret my confidence that the (beams) would not be in the road,” he said. “I was wrong.”

Medeiros previously told the court he noticed the lumber was missing after stopping at a Farmington restaurant. He returned to try and find the lumber, he told the court, but he was told there was a three-vehicle accident with a casualty that blocked his way.

Medeiros and his wife, Nida, said an officer told them to turn around. They returned to Massachusetts and learned of the fatal accident the next day.

“When my wife and I learned of Mr. McKenney’s death, we wept like children and prayed to God,” Domingos Medeiros said. He also said he felt remorse deeper than he could speak and sent his “deepest condolences” to McKenney’s family.

More than 20 people were in the courtroom to support Medeiros. Many spoke on his behalf.

They described him as an honest, hard-working Christian, who is generous and caring, and loved his family. They asked the court for leniency, saying he didn’t deserve to go to prison.

“It was certainly a stiff sentence,” McKee said. “Domingos was disappointed, but we’re going to move forward from here.”

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