A former New Jersey police officer convicted of causing a wrong-way crash that killed a fellow officer and another friend has been sentenced to up to 25 years in prison, the maximum for his crimes.
Pedro Abad, 29, was found guilty in May of aggravated vehicular homicide, manslaughter, reckless endangerment and other crimes. Abad's attorneys had sought the minumum sentence of one year behind bars.
Prosecutors had said Abad drank to "obliteration" at a Staten Island strip club before his vehicle collided head-on into a tractor-trailer on the West Shore Expressway. They say Abad had a blood alcohol level three times the legal limit.
Abad's lawyer, Mario Gallucci, had questioned the numbers, saying his client had lost so much blood that transfusions had contaminated the blood alcohol reading. During summations, Gallucci called the crash a tragedy and a horrific accident that was "not caused by intoxication."
At one point, Gallucci wanted to have Abad tested for a date-rape drug the lawyer said he could have been slipped at the strip club.
Gallucci said Abad would not let him poll the jury, saying they had gone through enough.
"He turned to me and said I'm at peace," Gallucci said. "He says God told him what happened and he deserves to be punished."