A Massachusetts teenager, who fatally wounded a New Hampshire man after crashing into his car while texting, was convicted yesterday of motor vehicle homicide and sentenced to serve one year behind bars.
Aaron Deveau, seventeen at the time of the accident, is the first person to be punished under a new state law criminalizing harm caused through texting while driving, and was given the maximum sentence: Two years in prison.
He was also sentenced to two-and-a-half years for the homicide charge. District Court Judge Stephen Abany made the sentences concurrent and suspended all except for one year of prison time. The judge said he hoped the severity of Deveau's punishment would deter others from texting while driving.
Deveau was arrested last year and charged in connection with the crash that occurred on February 20th.
55-year-old father of three Daniel Bowley Jr. and his 59-year-old girlfriend Luz Roman were driving along River Street in Haverhill when a distracted Deveau crossed the center line and collided with their vehicle. Bowley sustained life-threatening injuries and died 18 days later.
"I made a mistake," Deveau said yesterday. "If I could take it back, I would take it back. I just want to apologize to the family."
He and his lawyer maintained that no texting was involved in the crash, but prosecutors argued that Deveau himself admitted to exchanging some 200 texts the day of the crash, and may have deleted the texts he wrote prior to the accident.
[photo via AP]