Haverhill Teen Found Guilty of Motor Vehicle Homicide
Aaron Deveau, 18, of 57 Beach Street, Haverhill, was found guilty today by a Haverhill District Court jury after 3 hours of deliberations. Judge Stephen Abany sentenced him to 2.5 years in the House of Correction on the motor vehicle homicide charge and 2 years on the texting and causing injury charge. He will serve one year concurrently on both charges and the balance of both charges are suspended for 5 years. His license will be suspended for 15 years on the vehicular homicide charge.
“There are no winners today. A beloved grandfather is dead. A once active woman can no longer work and is still racked with pain from her injuries and a young man is going to jail,” District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett said. “When we get behind the wheel of a car, we are obligated to drive with care. The Massachusetts Legislature passed a law banning texting and driving because it is so dangerous. As we saw in this case in a split second, many lives are forever changed.”
In her sentencing argument, Essex Assistant District Attorney Ashlee Logan recommended the maximum sentence of 2.5 years for the motor vehicle homicide and 2 years suspended for 5 years on the texting and causing injury charge to begin after the defendant’s release from jail. “We owe it to the people of the Commonwealth to protect their safety and send a message that texting and driving is dangerous,” she said.
During the four day trial, Logan proved that on February 20, 2011 Aaron Deveau crossed the center line on River Street in Haverhill hitting a car driven by Donald Bowley, 56, of 141 Sandown Road, Danville, NH. Bowley’s girlfriend, Luz Roman, 59, of 126 Klondike Avenue, Haverhill was a passenger in his car. Bowley and Roman were taken to Lawrence General Hospital and later airlifted to Massachusetts General Hospital where Bowley died on March 10, 2011 as a result of the injuries sustained in the crash.
Logan also proved that Deveau was texting while driving negligently and caused injury to Roman. This charge was one of several created by the texting law that took effect on September 30, 2010. That law defines texting as manually composing, sending or reading an electronic message. The statute, M.G.L. Chapter 90, Section 24(2)(a), makes it a crime to negligently drive while texting and causing injury. It is punishable by up to 2 years in the House of Correction.
Since September, Blodgett has addressed students at four area high schools, Salem, Lynn Classical, Haverhill and Peabody, on the dangers of texting and driving.
Logan thanked Trooper Brian Roderick of Massachusetts State Police Collision Analysis and Reconstruction Section (CARS) and Haverhill Police Department Officers Thomas Howell, Wayne Tracy and Ed Watson for their work on the investigation. Essex Victim Witness Advocate Gayle Beaudoin provided services to Bowley’s family and Roman.