Cape May County man gets 14-Year jail sentence for DWI crash
Anthony Friel, a Cape May County resident, was sentenced Friday before Judge Batten in Cape May County Superior Court to fourteen years state prison for driving while high on heroin and crashing his car into a bus shelter causing serious injuries. The victim, Michael Mauer, was waiting for a bus when Friel’s car veered off the road and crashed into him at the bus stop. Five people were injured in the March, 2011 crash in Middle Township, including Mauer whose leg injuries were so severe they had to be amputated at the knee.
Mauer addressed the court at Friday’s sentencing saying, ” I want to be able to walk. I want to be able to stand. I don’t want to sit in a wheelchair and marry my wife, my soon-to-be wife.” Friel admitted using heroin in the hours before the crash and was stopped by Wildwood police officers for running a stop sign. He drove his car out of Wildwood and into the Rio Grande section of Middle Township at times going over 100 miles per hour.
The 37-year-old Friel eventually pled guilty to aggravated assault involving serious bodily injury and leaving the scene of an accident in a plea deal with the Cape May County Prosecutor’s Officer. Friel was actually driving on a suspended license at the time. The court sentenced Friel to nine years on the aggravated assault charge and a consecutive five years for leaving the scene. The second-degree aggravated assault charge carries a mandatory parole disqualifier of 85% of the jail time. This means Friel will have to serve 85% of the nine years before parole eligibility on that offense. Additionally, he must serve a consecutive five year term on the leaving the scene.
This case shows that DWI offenses can quickly escalate into felony charges when an accident occurs with injuries or a fatality. The DWI ticket is sent to the county prosecutor’s office along with the felony charges.
Contact the Law Offices of John W. Tumelty if you have any questions about DWI defense.
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