Teen driver in fatal crash sentenced to juvenile detention

March 10, 2020 GMT

BROCKTON, Mass. (AP) — The teenage driver behind the wheel in a fatal crash in Massachusetts that resulted in the death of four of his classmates was sentenced to juvenile detention.

Naiquan Hamilton, 19, was sentenced at Brockton District Court on Monday in connection to the May 2018 crash, the Patriot Ledger reported.

Hamilton will remain in juvenile detention until he turns 20 in July for negligent operation after he drove “recklessly” and without “due care,” in an attempt to impress his friends on their way to a restaurant, officials said. The crash took the lives of 17-year-olds David Bell, Christopher Desir and Eryck Sarblah and 16-year-old Nicholas Joyce.

He was convicted Feb. 12 after a six-day trial on a charge of motor vehicle homicide by negligent operation, which is considered a misdemeanor. Holding him in the custody of the Department of Youth Services was the maximum punishment that the 19-year-old could receive.

The mother of one of the victim’s said the outcome of the case represents only “a small amount of relief.” She added that she and others expected Hamilton to be convicted of more serious charges filed against him.

Plymouth County District Attorney Timothy Cruz said in a written statement that he hopes Hamilton will go on to “become a productive member of society and live his life in a way that honors the four lives that he took away.”

Public defender Laura Alfring said at sentencing that Hamilton has been devastated by the crash.

“It is also undisputed that there was no evil intent here and that if Naiquan could take back that day, he’d give anything to do so,” she said.