'Melrose' actress' reduced sentence is appealed
SOMERVILLE, N.J. (AP) - A state prosecutor on Tuesday appealed the three-year prison sentence given to a former "Melrose Place" actress for a drunken driving death, saying the judge improperly focused on the personal circumstances of the defendant, who has a sick and disabled child.
Amy Locane-Bovenizer, who appeared in 13 episodes of TV's "Melrose Place" and in movies including "Cry-Baby," "School Ties" and "Secretary," was convicted of vehicular manslaughter and assault by auto in a deadly 2010 accident.
Prosecutors say she was driving with a blood-alcohol level nearly three times the legal limit when her SUV slammed into a car driven by Fred Seeman as he was turning into his driveway in Montgomery Township, in central New Jersey. His wife, Helene, 60, was killed, and he was seriously injured.
Locane-Bovenizer, 41, had faced a prison term of five to 10 years on the most serious count. But citing the needs of her two young children, one of them sick and disabled, the judge last week decided to sentence her at the bottom of a lower sentencing range for a lesser crime, and to have the sentence run concurrently with the term given on the assault charge.
Superior Court Judge Robert Reed said he had no sympathy for the actress but that her children should not suffer even more because of her actions.
In announcing his appeal, Somerset County Prosecutor Geoffrey Soriano said: "The sentence sends a bewildering message to our society about the consequences of driving while intoxicated, improperly places focus upon the defendant's personal circumstances and, quite frankly, re-victimizes the true victims in this case."
The victim's relatives had reacted angrily to the reduced prison term, her husband yelling, "What a travesty!" after the sentence was read.
At the sentencing, Locane-Bovenizer apologized to the Seeman family for the pain she had caused.
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