A former Maryland State Police cadet received a 60-day suspended sentence and a $500 fine yesterday for driving under the influence of alcohol in an accident that killed an off-duty state trooper.
Tom Edward Blue, 20, of Severn, was also placed on two years' supervised probation under the drunken driver monitor program by Circuit Court Judge Lawrence H. Rushworth, said Assistant State's Attorney Frederick M. Paone.
A three-day trial last month ended with a jury convicting Blue of driving under the influence, negligent driving and failure to maintain control, Paone said. Despite evidence that Blue had a blood-alcohol level of .20 -- more than twice the legal limit -- the jury acquited Blue on charges of automobile manslaughter, homicide by motor vehicle while intoxicated and driving while intoxicated, Paone said.
The fatal accident occurred at about 2 a.m. Sept. 24, 1989, when Blue failed to negotiate a hairpin curve on Harmans Road in Severn, Paone said. Evidence showed Blue's 1988 Nissan 4x4 pickup was traveling at 38 miles an hour when he lost control and the truck rolled over, Paone said.
Trooper Frank Kienhoffer, 22, who was assigned in Baltimore County, was riding in the bed of the truck, the prosecutor said. Kienhoffer died of head injuries 10 days later.
Paone said another person riding in the truck bed, along with Blue and two other passengers riding in the truck cab, walked away from the accident without serious injuries.
The prosecutor said Blue resigned as a state police cadet a day after the accident.