On Nov. 28, Joseph Fahy appeared in court to receive his judgment and sentencing over the March 23 incident that rolled his 2001 Lincoln Navigator and killed his passenger while Fahy was driving under the influence of alcohol.
The hearing — which had been moved from the afternoon to the morning at the last minute — had victim Earl “Ryder” Smith’s mother, Iris Griffen, reading a victim impact statement and a letter from his father, William Smith.
Defense attorney James Clark paraphrased from the letter from William Smith, which posed the question of “one life is gone, why destroy another?” Clark added that “(Fahy) is genuinely remorseful.” The incident itself could have been the other way around if Fahy was the passenger and Smith the driver, Clark said. “They both went out, both got drunk. They were buddies. It’s tragic.”
After listening to the statements and arguments from both defense and prosecution, Judge Douglas C. Phimister informed Fahy of his sentencing. He would serve between 16 months and three years in the county jail, with the maximum being six years in state prison, but will receive 252 days as credits. There was no definitive time in jail on the official minute order issued by the court. He was ordered to attend a three-month first offender DUI program. His license was suspended for a year beginning when he leaves jail. When he is able to drive, he will be required to use an ignition interlock device for the first year of driving.
Fahy will be required to participate in a Mothers Against Drunk Driving program and complete 100 hours of community service. Following the jail time, Fahy will be on formal probation for five years. While on probation, he will be required to perform 20 hours of community service at high schools and high school graduations, speaking on the dangers of alcohol and driving under the influence.
Finally, a total of $3,013 in fines and fees was levied against Fahy.
“It’s tragic, there’s no answering cases like this,” Clark said. “The law is woefully ill-equipped for cases like this.”
Contact Cole Mayer at 530-344-5068 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @CMayerMtDemo.