BOSTON (CBS) - A Worcester Superior Court judge Monday found that Nicolas Guaman didn't commit second-degree murder in August of 2011 when he drunkenly blew through a Milford stop sign, knocked 23-year-old Matthew Denice off his motorcycle, and dragged him a quarter mile to his death despite the frantic efforts of onlookers to get him to stop.
The judge did find Guaman guilty of vehicular homicide while driving negligently and under the influence of alcohol, driving without a license, leaving the scene of a personal injury accident resulting in death, failure to stop for police and reckless endangerment of a child, his own six-year-old son who was in the car along with dad's empties.
But while Guaman will now rot in prison for at least 12 years to pay for those crimes, make no mistake, he is a murderer.
When he so cruelly and negligently slaughtered Matthew Denice, he also murdered the lives of his victim's loved ones.
I've met the Denice/Maloney family, they're the nicest people you'd ever want to meet, and unlike some other victims of violent crime, they are articulate enough to eloquently express just how much damage this reckless, drunken fool has done.
"I now live in two worlds," Matthew's mother Maureen said after the sentencing. "One foot in the world with my son Michael, and one foot in the afterlife with Matthew. It is a horrible, tortuous life."
Listen to Jon's commentary:
Keller at Large May 20 2014
The justice system bent over backwards to give Guaman a fair trial, but it didn't do much for Matthew Denice and his family. It looked the other way while Guaman lived here illegally for nine years.
Perhaps while he's locked up, he can use some of his spare time to learn a couple of English words we never heard from him in court: "I'm sorry."
You can listen to Keller At Large on WBZ News Radio every weekday at 7:55 a.m. You can also watch Jon on WBZ-TV News.
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