Former Police Officer Jason Anderson was sentenced to spend five years in jail for the deaths of two Orange teenagers in a June, 2009, car crash.
The sentence imposed Wednesday, Jan. 16, at Milford Superior Court was actually five years for the death of David Servin and another five years for the death of Ashlie Krakowski, for a total of 10 years. Both sentences will be suspended after five years, meaning Anderson must serve five years.
Prison time will be followed by three years probation, during which time court officials want him to spend some volunteer hours talking to young police recruits about the hazards of driving fast.
After being acquitted late last year of manslaughter charges in the deaths, Anderson was found guilty of two counts of misconduct with a motor vehicle and reckless driving.
Wednesday, the day of sentencing, was an emotional day in court as families of the two victims described their losses and the promising young teenagers who were just starting out in the world. Ashlie planned to be a nurse, and David wanted to be a social worker, family members said.
Anderson’s family, too, evoked tears as they pleaded for leniency in the sentencing. His wife, Maria, talked about their 6-year-old son and how the accident has changed his young life. Anderson’s mother described her son as a quiet, hardworking man who is devoted to his family.
Anderson was taken into custody at about 4 p.m., when court proceedings ended. He could soon be free on a $50,000 surety bond, perhaps even later today, while his Attorney Hugh Keefe pursues an appeal.
The charges and sentencing stem from an accident in the early morning hours of June 13, 2009, when Anderson’s cruiser struck the vehicle driven by Servin at the intersection of the Boston Post Road and Dogwood Road. The police car was going 94 miles per hour just before the crash, according to footage from a dashboard camera.
Anderson was returning from a mutual aid call in West Haven when his cruiser struck the other car and killed the two teenagers.
The case drew attention not only because of the tragic nature of the accident, but also because of some confusion on the part of the jury during the trial.
In a first attempt at a verdict, the jury answered yes to a special question posed by the defense as to whether Servin’s conduct constituted an “intervening cause.” The question — called a special interrogatory — threw a monkey wrench into the process.
The jury initially said yes to the intervening cause, then went on to find Anderson guilty of misconduct in Krakowski’s case and negligent homicide in Servin’s case.
The judge said she could not accept the verdict, and that the jury’s findings were inconsistent. If it found Servin’s actions to have contributed to the accident, it could not convict Anderson of a crime.
The judge tasked the jury with clarifying its intentions.
Later, the jury said no to the question of intervening cause and found Anderson guilty of misconduct.
Keefe said the confusion over the special interrogatory will be the basis for his court appeal. An appeal, he said, could take a year and a half.