HONESDALE—Senior Judge Raymond Hamill sentenced April Porreca, 32, of Greentown, Thursday morning, to a period of 12 to 60 months less one day incarceration in the Wayne County Correctional Facility for one count of involuntary manslaughter (misdemeanor 1) and one count of driving under the influence of alcohol (ungraded misdemeanor).
Porreca plead guilty to these charges on January 11.
She was also ordered to pay the costs of prosecution and a fine in the amount of $1,500, as well as complete the Alcohol Highway Safety Program and obtain employment within a month of parole.
As earlier reported, Porreca was charged with striking and fatally wounding Daniel J. Gregorsky, 35, of Hamiln, with her car while intoxicated early in the morning of June 24, 2017 in Salem Township.
The courtroom was packed for the sentencing Thursday morning with supporters for both the victim and the defendant filling every seat in the gallery.
Those not present for that particular sentencing were asked to move to the waiting room and court staff took seats in the jury box to accommodate the families and friends on both sides.
Addressing the court, District Attorney (DA) Patrick Robinson alluded to a discrepancy in Porreca's statement to the Probation Office which differed slightly from the official report.
Referring to a letter submitted to the court which called the incident accidental, the DA also clarified that, despite not intending to injure another, a crime was still committed.
“It's a crime to get drunk and get into a car,” said Robinson, further noting that doing so opens one up to the possibility of committing further crimes, even accidentally.
The defendant tearfully read aloud a statement she had prepared prior to the hearing.
“I'm truly sorry for what I've done,” said Porreca.
“It's a war zone in my head,” she added, noting the images and realization of what she's done have not and likely will not ever leave her mind.
She reiterated that she did not realize she had hit a person as the object she saw was balled up on the road.
“He was already down before I came down that road,” she stated.
Porreca's attorney, MICHAEL Farley stated alcohol was the main culprit in the case.
“Alcohol and the over-serving of both individuals led to this event,” he said before the court, noting that Gregorski's blood work showed a high BAC and his client freely admitted to being intoxicated during the incident.
He further stated it was his belief that the victim had been struck by another car prior to Porreca's, though no evidence arose to support this during investigation.
In delivering his sentence, Judge Hamill noted the vast majority of crimes brought before his bench during his tenure involved the consumption of drugs or alcohol with the latter taking the lion's share of those cases.
“I do not perceive you to be a villain,” he said, addressing Porreca.
Hamill noted this perception arose from the great bounty of letters written in her support.
He thanked all who submitted letters on behalf of both the defendant and the victim for taking the time to do so, stating they often provide keen insight in sentencing decisions.
Hamill noted regardless of the length of sentence, the incident itself will not be easily forgotten.
“I believe you will have this in your mind for the rest of your life,” he said.