Updated 09/27/2012 04:59 PM
Justin Crew sentenced for reckless manslaughter
The teenager who crashed a car in Poughquag last summer, killing his girlfriend and critically injuring a friend, was sentenced on Thursday. As YNN's John Wagner explains, it's a tale of wasted second chances.
To view our videos, you need to
install Adobe Flash 9 or above. Install now.
Then come back here and refresh the page.
DUTCHESS COUNTY, N.Y. -- Justin Crew lost sight in one eye, suffering traumatic brain injuries as a passenger in a car wreck with an unlicensed driver. Four years later, a quarter mile from that scene, he was the one taking the wheel, under the influence of marijuana, speeding, without a license.
"Because of the previous accident, he of all people knew better than anyone what the potential consequences where of such reckless actions," said Heather Ryan, a Senior Assistant District Attorney for Dutchess County.
After slamming into a tree, his passenger, Eric Dominguez, spent weeks in intensive care. Dominguez has mounted a slow recovery, losing a kidney and suffering from a traumatic brain injury. Crew's girlfriend, Jessica Miller, won't ever get the second chance Crew was given.
"The Miller's don't have their daughter back," said Werner Dominguez, father of Eric Dominguez. "All they have is a plot at the cemetery that they can go and visit."
For pleading guilty to reckless manslaughter, Justin Crew was sentenced to three to nine years in prison. He would have faced five to 15 in a jury trial. The victim's families say the reduced term is nowhere near atonement for his inexcusable actions.
"You do the crime, you gotta do the time," said Dominguez. "I think that he should be spending the rest of his life in jail, because I don't think he shows any remorse."
"My daughter’s gone and he'll have his life in no time back and it ain't going to bring my baby back," said Bonnie, Jessica's mother.
Jessica is remembered as a sweet girl that loved her family, loved animals, and had dreams of becoming a veterinarian.
"Jessica was my favorite granddaughter. I love her," said Barbara DeAngelis. "I know now she's in a better place. God took her from us and she's in a better place."
"I'm just going to miss everything about her," said Bonnie Miller. "I go through the pain every day, you know, and I'm dealing with it. I miss her so much. She was my baby girl."