Teen found guilty of negligent vehicular homicide
HAVERHILL, Mass. -- A Haverhill teenager has been found guilty of motor vehicle homicide and negligent operation for causing a fatal car crash while texting on his cellphone.
It was the first time someone had been tried in Massachusetts for the crimes while sending or receiving a text message.
Jurors reached a guilty verdict against 18-year-old Aaron Deveau on Wednesday on their second day of deliberations.
Deveau testified in his own defense Tuesday and said he was not sending or receiving text messages in the moments before the head-on collision in February 2011.
Police say the then 17-year-old Deveau crossed the center line and collided with a vehicle driven by 55-year-old Donald Bowley Jr. of Danville, N.H. Bowley died 18 days later. Prosecutors say he died from injuries suffered in the crash.
"I think jail time; maximum sentence. He took a life away," said Luz Roman, who was in Bowley's car at the time of the crash.
Deveau only had his license for five months when he swerved into the other lane.
In court, Bowley's daughter sobbed while describing his last days.
Deveau's mother said her heart goes out to the Bowleys.
"My son didn't intentionally go out to hurt anybody. He would never," Deveau's mother said.
Deveau apologized to the victim's family in court.
"I want to apologize to the family. I made a mistake. If I could take that back, I would take it back," Deveau said.
Deveau was sentenced to 2 and 1/2 years. He will serve one year in jail. When he is released he will do community service. He will be 33 years old when he can drive again.
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