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WDKX.com » Blog » Manslaughter Conviction In Crash That Killed Teacher
Jun 5th 2013 6:02 am
Manslaughter Conviction In Crash That Killed Teacher
by news

Rochester, N.Y. - A jury found Mark Scerbo guilty of manslaughter in a crash that killed a Fairport teacher.

Scerbo was charged in the July 2012 crash that led to the death of bicyclist Heather Boyum on Route 250 in Penfield.

Jurors found Scerbo guilty of manslaughter, aggravated DWI, and reckless driving. He was found not guilty of aggravated vehicular homicide.

Scerbo faces a maximum prison sentence for 15-years for the manslaughter conviction. Other charges could run consecutive.

Scerbo stood trial alongside Megan Merkel. Prosecutors said Merkel's car hit Boyum, after Scerbo crashed into Boyum's bicycle. There was, however, a separate jury in each trial.

Assistant District Attorney Raymond Benitez said Scerbo could now face anywhere between a seven and 15 year sentence, but could have gotten up to 25 years if convicted on all counts.

"It would have been great to get him on the top count, because we need to keep this guy in jail as long as possible," said Benitez, "this verdict tells us that the jury did not think his intoxication led to her death."

"Guilty on all DWI charges and guilty on recklessly driving, that's all there is here, I mean if reckless driving and being drunk didn't lead to her death I don't know what did," said Eric Boyum, Heather's husband. "The charges that they chose to press guilty on it just wasn't enough."

On Monday, Megan Merkel was found not guilty of manslaughter and vehicular manslaughter in connection with the crash. Merkel was found guilty, however, of DWI and unlicensed operation of a vehicle, along with operating a vehicle with inadequate brakes. She walked out of jail Monday night and is not expected to serve anymore time for this case.

"This was Mark Serbo's fourth DWI he was released from prison 20-days before he killed my wife and here we go again," Boyum continued, "Megan Merkel is out free and Mark Scerbo will not be in jail nearly long enough."

"The element they got stuck on and they couldn't overcome was determining whether or not the death was also caused by his state of intoxication and obviously this verdict tells us that they did not think it was," said A.D.A. Benitez about the Merkel jury and verdict. "I personally take responsibility for that I wish I had done a little bit better job in my closing to connect the points and allow them a little bit more ammunition so that they could understand the jury charges because they were confusing."

"It wasn't enough. We were disappointed yesterday, and we're disappointed today," said Eric Boyum, Heather's husband, "Mark Scerbo was out of jail for 20 days before he killed my wife. Why, why isn't the jury allowed to know about his priors? His age is not an excuse. That's ridiculous."

Sentencing will occur on July 15 at 2 p.m.