ALFRED — Justice G. Arthur Brennan sentenced Donna Bartlett to eight
years in prison plus six years of probation for the drunk driving crash
last year that killed two people on the Maine Turnpike.
The overall sentence imposed by Brennan was 25 years, but the judge suspended most of that time.
Bartlett's driver's license also will be revoked for 10 years.
are no words to express my complete remorse for what I have done,"
Bartlett said, speaking to the families of victims James
McLaughlin of Gorham, 65, and Cooper Campbell of
"I am a good person who made a terrible error in
judgment," she said, "One that I cannot reclaim nor try to fix. For all
of this there are no words. I think of Cooper and of James, and of both
of your families, so many times every day."
More than a dozen
people spoke on behalf fo Bartlett and the victims' families during the
emothional two-hour hearing at York County Superior Court.
to sentencing, Bartlett pleaded guilty to two counts of manslaughter,
two counts of drunk driving, two counts of reckless conduct and one
count of aggravated assault. Eight other charges were dropped as part
of the plea negotiations between Bartlett's lawyer and the York County
District Attorney's Office. Both sides recommended the sentence that
Around 11 p.m. on April 28, 2008, Bartlett got on the turnpike in
Wells and drove south in the northbound lanes. Police say she drove
five miles in the wrong direction and smashed head-on into a Lincoln
Town Car. During the last two miles of that drive, a Maine State Police
trooper was driving parallel to Bartlett in the southbound lanes,
flashing his lights and sounding his siren in an attempt to get
Bartlett to stop.
Killed in the crash were McLaughlin, the limousine driver, and
passenger Cooper Campbell. Steven Campbell, the boy's father, was
McLaughlin had been driving the father and son back to Maine from Logan
Airport in Boston.
Bartlett suffered minor injuries. Police say her blood-alcohol level
was over the legal limit of 0.08 percent when she was tested two hours
after the collision.
About a month after the crash, a grand jury in York County indicted
Bartlett on two charges of manslaughter, which are each punishable by a
maximum of 30 years in prison. Bartlett also was charged with two
counts each of drunken driving, driving to endanger and leaving the
scene of an accident; six counts of reckless conduct with a weapon; and
a single count of aggravated assault.
Bartlett had two alcohol-related traffic incidents when she was a young woman, but none from 1992 until 2008.
In 1989, she was involved in an accident in Wells and had a
blood-alcohol content of 0.12 percent. In 1992, her license was
suspended for three months after she drove with a blood-alcohol content
of 0.19 percent.
Bartlett already has settled the civil wrongful death complaints
filed against her by the families of the victims. The terms of the
settlements are confidential, lawyers for the parties said this week.
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