A pregnant woman sentenced to jail time for a DUI conviction involving the death of her friend will be allowed to stay out of prison until the birth of her baby.
Sarah Courtney, 34, from Orrington, Maine, was sentenced to ten years in prison after pleading no contest to manslaughter and aggravated criminal operating under the influence of intoxicants. A Westchester County DWI Lawyer is reviewing the details of this case.
She was driving her SUV in Hampden last year when she missed a curve and crashed the vehicle. Her friend Sarah Eason, 28, was sitting in the passenger seat and died as a result of the crash.
According to prosecutors, Courtney, who is now eight months pregnant, was nearly twice over the legal alcohol limit at the time, Bangor Daily News reported. She also was driving at 57mph in a 45mph zone. A Nyack DWI Lawyer represents clients involved in drunk driving cases.
The women had been visiting bars in Bangor and Brewer just before the crash.
Courtney was sentenced to ten years in prison, with all but two and a half suspended, followed by four years probation for manslaughter.
But she will not have to enter prison until March 1 on account of the fact she is expected to give birth to a baby girl next month.
Courtney's due date is November 22 but her daughter is expected to be delivered earlier due to gestational diabetes. She remains free on $2,000 bail.
The prosecution said that although they thought the plea agreement was fair, he opposed a stay longer than 42 days, the maternity leave granted to female members of the military.
Mary-Lynne Eason of Brewer, the victim's mother, told the judge that 'since the crash, my life has become a nightmare from which I will never wake up'.
She said that because of her daughter's death she could no longer work and was struggling emotionally and economically.
The mother added that Courtney's 'continued refusal to accept responsibility reveals a lot about her character' and urged the judge to impose 'a longer sentence to send a stronger message to the community so no other mother has to stand here'.
Just before being sentenced, Courtney apologized to her friend's family.
'My sorrow and remorse is overwhelming,' she said.
In her obituary, published in April 2013 in the Bangor Daily News, Sarah Eason was described as loved and as someone who accepted people without judgment.