Tearful Woman Sentenced In Fatal DUI Crash

Full story: Hartford Courant

She continued to cry, off and on, as friends and relatives of the two men she killed in a fiery, wrong-way crash in East Hartford last year addressed a Superior Court judge.
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1 - 20 of 22 Comments Last updated Sep 7, 2013
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Bill

Ocklawaha, FL

#1 Apr 24, 2008
Perhaps this seems severe to some however, this was a double homicide. A drunk driver with alcohol and weed in their system must be prepared to face the consequences of their actions. If this sentence will cause just one person to think before drinking and driving, one or more lives could be saved and this girls pounishment will be worth it for the community as a whole!
Tlight

New York, NY

#2 Apr 24, 2008
A very sad story. I do not believe the punishment is to severe and I do respect her acceptance of it.
Laurie

United States

#3 Apr 24, 2008
There is no excuse to drive under the influence. I have no sympathy for this woman who caused the death of two people. I give her credit for owning her responsibility in this sad case.
Typical

Northridge, CA

#4 Apr 24, 2008
You play, you pay. She did just that and deserves her sentence.
Another One

North Haven, CT

#6 Apr 24, 2008
This is very sad - I feel for all those involved and I just want to hug my kids and tell them again to never drink and drive and watch out for others that are obviously under the influence.
Speechless

East Hartford, CT

#7 Apr 24, 2008
I lost my aunt and 13 y.o. cousin to one of the worst drunk driving accidents ever in New Britain, CT on December 12, 1994. I have never and will ever feel that one who choses to drink and then drive should be given any kind of break. This is nothing short of premeditated murder. Everyone knows such decision and actions invites the inevitable. May not happen today, next week but it will happen. We (the family) were a bit 'lucky' as the drunk driver also killed himself. We did not have to hold out hope with a trial and a possible lenient sentence. Everyone always loses.
May God bless this family and countless others who have been victimized by the horrendous decisions others made.
Venus Envy

Hartford, CT

#8 Apr 24, 2008
At least she had the decency to not allow anyone to post bail...and she took responsibility. I know, I know, it doesn't bring back the dead, but it's a good start to atonement. My condolences to everyone who lost a loved one.
DUI No More

Mystic, CT

#9 Apr 24, 2008
Excuse me??? What does the fact she was abused as a child have to do with this case? This is typical of POS lawyers looking for something to say in the clientís defense. His comment is total nonsense and irrelevant to this case.

I would like to say what a horrible person this young lady is however, that would make me a hypocrite. Every time I read a story like this I think how lucky, I am to still be alive and to have never injured or killed anybody while drunk driving.

About 20 years ago, I often drove like this young lady, fully knowing that I had too much to drink and CHOSE to drive anyway. I donít ever recall not being able to make the decision to drive but recall many times when my coordination and reaction time were clearly not up to par. I knew what I was doing was dangerous but always thought, itís not going to happen to me and I was just damn lucky it never did.

Personally, I rarely drink anymore and when I do it is in extreme moderation. I donít preach that people should not drink but I hope, they drink responsibly when they plan to drive.

This is a tragic story. Donít think it canít happen to you?

So, did this young lady!
Lisa Tourigny

Wallingford, CT

#10 Apr 24, 2008
Why is it that Jennifer Marchand's sentence is greater than those of others that have by judgement of error killed someone drinking and driving? Have we forgot the recent news of the supposedly college student who struck, killed and left the scene of an accident and whose parents tried to cover it up?

This is very, very sad for all persons involved --for all 3 families. This young woman was not a dead beat - she was working two jobs and pursuing an education. She made a mistake, a mistake that she will pay for the rest of her life. This can happen to anyone and anyone's family. No one should judge her. As I have followed the case, I understand that her friend was her designated driver this particular night and drove herself and Jennifer Marchand to her house; and then gave the keys to Jennifer Marchand. This is a 21 year old young lady who will spend half of her life thus far in a 6x8 cell. As I understand it the car she struck was going over 90 mph.

This is a very tragic situation and this young lady did not deserve 9 years for a mistake she made in judgement.

For those of you who are judging her.. I hope that your child, or friend, niece or nephew doesn't make the same judgement in error. Isn't it true that ones brain is not fully developed before the age of 25? If this was a young male I am confident to say that his sentence would of been a lot less harsher.
BRAVO

Middletown, CT

#11 Apr 24, 2008
DUI No More wrote:
Excuse me??? What does the fact she was abused as a child have to do with this case? This is typical of POS lawyers looking for something to say in the clientís defense. His comment is total nonsense and irrelevant to this case.
Amen! I know this lawyer. I was a victim of a crime to which he represented the defendant. He used the same excuse. I too was a victimized as a child but chose to make the right decisions in my life regardless, and unlike the perp who decided to cut my face up 3 months after she cut man's face. Gerace should be erased from the legal system. PERIOD!!! My condolences to all families.
Tlight

New York, NY

#12 Apr 24, 2008
Lisa Tourigny wrote:
Why is it that Jennifer Marchand's sentence is greater than those of others that have by judgement of error killed someone drinking and driving? Have we forgot the recent news of the supposedly college student who struck, killed and left the scene of an accident and whose parents tried to cover it up?
This is very, very sad for all persons involved --for all 3 families. This young woman was not a dead beat - she was working two jobs and pursuing an education. She made a mistake, a mistake that she will pay for the rest of her life. This can happen to anyone and anyone's family. No one should judge her. As I have followed the case, I understand that her friend was her designated driver this particular night and drove herself and Jennifer Marchand to her house; and then gave the keys to Jennifer Marchand. This is a 21 year old young lady who will spend half of her life thus far in a 6x8 cell. As I understand it the car she struck was going over 90 mph.
This is a very tragic situation and this young lady did not deserve 9 years for a mistake she made in judgement.
For those of you who are judging her.. I hope that your child, or friend, niece or nephew doesn't make the same judgement in error. Isn't it true that ones brain is not fully developed before the age of 25? If this was a young male I am confident to say that his sentence would of been a lot less harsher.
AS a mother who smokes pot, not a deadbeat? What are you kidding me? Maybe if she was not buying pot she would not need so many jobs.

I am sorry, she deserved exactly what she got.
Abuse

Hartford, CT

#13 Apr 25, 2008
I'm sure at one time or another most of us have been in a sticky situation, waking up saying, OH MY GOD!! By no means do I think Jennifer should get a slap on the hand for this, unfortunately for her she'll have to live with this for the rest of her life. Yes she's alive, but the guilt that she will carry would be enough to do me in and why did the lawyer bring up her abuse? I was molested, raped, physically and mentally abused in my younger years, this doesn't / didn't give me the right to behave badly.
And what's with the other car driving at such a high speed? Granted he was going the right way, but maybe just maybe if he was driving slower he could have avoided the on coming car?
ACCOUNTABLE FOR "OUR" ACTIONS PEOPLE!
This is a very sad, sad story and my heart goes out to all of those involved.
amanda

East Hartford, CT

#14 Apr 25, 2008
oh your very cool. I love how you just dont know the story what so ever but you have shit to say. Just like you used to drink and drive, so did this girl. the only difference between you and her is the fact that YOU DIDNT GET CAUGHT. maybe this happened to her for a reason...to help her create a better life for herself. I do feel very bad for the other family, however most of the things they had to say at the time of court was ridiculous. "My son cant even go to the bathroom by himself anymore...and my other son gained 20 pounds". that is obviously just stupid. I understand the pain they are feeling because i have also lost my father but im still strong and im not a depressed lunatic. I KnoW that what this girl did was very bad, but let me inform you all who obviously have no idea what you are talking about that the person with a huge part to blame with this is the designated driver that "thought she was ok to drive home after watching her drink and smoke". How about you the liquor store that gave her the beer???
amanda

East Hartford, CT

#15 Apr 25, 2008
thank you Lisa Tourigny...someone understands
Bill

Ocklawaha, FL

#16 Apr 26, 2008
I do agree, there needs to be more consistency in sentencing. As it stands now, objectivity should determine guilt and innocence and there needs to be a degree of subjectivity in sentencing. What gets me is when the real determining factor is how high priced a lawyer you can afford! Sorry to say, in many cases like this, if you can only afford a public defender, throw away the key!(not to demean Public Defenders they just do not have time and resources on their side)
Jay

Hartford, CT

#17 Apr 26, 2008
"Why is it that Jennifer Marchand's sentence is greater than those of others that have by judgement of error killed someone drinking and driving?"

Because she killed two people, burned them to death beyond recognition.

"Have we forgot the recent news of the supposedly college student who struck, killed and left the scene of an accident and whose parents tried to cover it up?"

No, we have not. they should get theirs too.

"This is very, very sad for all persons involved --for all 3 families. This young woman was not a dead beat - she was working two jobs and pursuing an education. She made a mistake, a mistake that she will pay for the rest of her life."

She knew the rules. She knew the consequences. It's pretty public and plain.

"This can happen to anyone and anyone's family."

Nope. Not to me it won't, I'm not a drunk. Some drunk might kill a member of my family, but I won't be doing any drunk driving. I will never be in her position.

"I understand that her friend was her designated driver this particular night and drove herself and Jennifer Marchand to her house; and then gave the keys to Jennifer Marchand."

Great. So we have two people who weren't thinking. You give the keys back the next day. I've seen it done.

"This is a 21 year old young lady who will spend half of her life thus far in a 6x8 cell."

Yep. And you think that would have been a deterrent. We as a people are removing her from endangering anyone else in public.

"Isn't it true that ones brain is not fully developed before the age of 25?"

No, it's not true. But if as you claim, she was smart enough to work two jobs and "pursue an education" she should have been smart enough to

"If this was a young male I am confident to say that his sentence would of been a lot less harsher."

Well, look at the stats before you claim such a thing, and please explain what "a lot less harsher" means.

Look, you feel sorry for her. But this is nothing but excuse making and ranting. Plenty of people follow the law and exhibit good judgement in not breaking it. She did not. She pays the price. The law does not say if you feel bad enough about burning two people to a crisp we'll let you go on your way. The recidivism rate for drunks is astoundingly high. Ditto that for drunk drivers.

She chose to drive. She chose to drink. It was not an isolated incident, this was not an accident. This was not the first time she drove drunk.
BOBBY

Enfield, CT

#18 Apr 27, 2008
VERY GOOD STORY WELL INFORMED
No More

United States

#19 Apr 27, 2008
This story has me rethink my own behavior, I watch drunks get in there car and drive everynight. The police need more resources. GOD bless all effected by this.
anonymous

United States

#20 Jul 2, 2010
I know Jennifer personally. Have known her since elementary school. It saddens me to know that she made such poor judgement. She was the absolute sweetest girl ever..and very intelligent! My heart and prayers go out to her and her family...especially her sister, Michelle! They were real close.
Animal

Wellesley, MA

#21 Oct 10, 2012
Gerace is one of the best lawyers in the legal system.

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