Crofton man gets 9 months in drunken driving death

November 04, 1993|By Dennis O'Brien | Dennis O'Brien,Staff Writer

A 41-year-old Crofton accountant was sentenced to nine months in jail yesterday for a drunken driving accident that killed a Rockville man in January.

Michael T. Bardowski, of the 1800 block of Sharwood Drive, was ordered to spend nine months in jail, nine months under house arrest and five years on probation. He also was ordered to work one day each week for the next two years as a volunteer with area youths.

Gregg I. Getz, 28, of the 13000 block of Drake Drive in Rockville, was killed Jan. 8 when he was hit by Bardowski while standing in the center of Route 424 near Rydell Road.

The victim's car had just been involved in a minor accident, and he was exchanging his driver's license number and other information with the other driver, according to court records.

Bardowski was convicted Sept. 7 of auto homicide while intoxicated.

He faced a maximum prison sentence of five years. However, state sentencing guidelines, which took into account Bardowski's lack of criminal record, recommended probation to 18 months in jail.

Judge Raymond G. Thieme Jr. imposed the sentence last night after an emotional hearing in which the victim's mother, father and sister spoke of the unending pain the accident on the rain-slicked highway caused them.

Eve Getz called her only son "a treasure" she and her husband had "waited eight years for."

She said that what bothered her most was that Bardowski had, until yesterday, showed no remorse for their son's death.

"I hope that incarceration would wake him up to the fact that life is very precious," she said.

Bardowski, described as quiet, serious and introverted, stood before he was sentenced and apologized to the family. He said he was sorry for the accident and for any perception he may have created that he felt no remorse.

"I'm doubly sorry," he said. "I know there's nothing that I can do to make things any better, but I want you to know I'm terribly sorry."

Assistant State's Attorney Robert Bittman had asked for two years in jail, the second year to be served under a live-in, work-out arrangement. He also asked that Bardowski be required to perform 1,000 hours of community service.

T. Joseph Touhey, Bardowski's attorney, had asked for a year under house arrest, with five years of probation and community service.

Mr. Touhey said an extensive jail sentence would serve no purpose, arguing that Bardowski demonstrated "the highest moral character possible" before the accident and since.

A graduate of the University of Wisconsin, Bardowski served in the Air Force and was an interpreter for the National Security Agency before he earned an accounting degree from the University of Maryland and began operating his own accounting firm.

"His record is one of achievement, integrity and exemplary activities in society," Mr. Touhey said.

But the judge also heard the victim's sister, Ilana Bittner, describe the sorrow over her brother's death that hung over her wedding about two weeks ago and that changed her parents forever.

"There's no joy in their eyes anymore. There's no happiness in their souls. They're not nearly the same people they were 10 months ago,' she said.

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.