Drunken driver gets 10-year term for fatal wreck

April 22, 1994|By Jay Apperson | Jay Apperson,Sun Staff Writer

An East Baltimore man was sentenced to 10 years in prison yesterday for automobile manslaughter in the death of a 79-year-old grandmother.

Anthony Gaskins, 41, of the 1500 block of Fernley Road was the driver of a car that caused a three-car crash on May 6, 1993, at the intersection of The Alameda and Cold Spring Lane.

Leonary Brown of the 500 block of Willow Ave. in Govans was killed in the wreck, and four other people were injured.

Gaskins was convicted of manslaughter and driving while intoxicated after a jury trial in March. Prosecutor Thurman Zollicoffer said that, at the time of the crash, Gaskins had a blood alcohol level of 0.25 percent -- more than twice the legal limit.

The prosecutor said Gaskins also had cocaine in his blood.

Three of Ms. Brown's 23 grandchildren, one daughter, a sister and two nieces were present for the sentencing yesterday in Baltimore Circuit Court.

The daughter, Odessa Brown Davis, told the court, "Since I've been here today, despite what [Gaskins] has done, the Lord has allowed me to have compassion for him."

Gaskins turned to the relatives and apologized, but said the crash was "an accident."

Before giving Gaskins the maximum term for manslaughter, Judge Elsbeth L. Bothe told him, "I don't believe a word you say and I think you insult the family and the memory of this woman by refusing to accept any responsibility."

JTC Referring to Gaskins' history of drug and alcohol abuse, the judge said, "You've led a rather disastrous existence."

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