Driving records hurt 2 convicted in teacher's death

May 18, 1999|By Sheridan Lyons | Sheridan Lyons,SUN STAFF

A visiting judge echoed the fears of those who drive Carroll's County's main artery every day as he sentenced two men convicted of causing the death of a Mount Airy Middle School teacher while drag-racing down Route 140 in June.

Although their vehicles did not strike her car, Judge Daniel W. Moylan noted the driving records of Frederick H. Hensen Jr., 22, of Westminster, and Scott D. Broadfoot Sr., 25, of Parkville.

Hensen, who has 14 traffic offenses, including one each for running a red light and spinning wheels and 12 for speeding -- three times for more than 30 miles over the limit -- received a six-year sentence to be served at the state Division of Correction. Hensen was immediately taken into custody.

Broadfoot was sentenced to four years, to be served at the Carroll County Detention Center, with work-release recommended. He was given 72 hours to report to the jail. Broadfoot has seven speeding convictions on his traffic record, according to yesterday's hearing.

Geraldine Lane "Geri" Wu died and her 15-year-old daughter, Min-li Wu, was injured as they were returning from completing the daughter's homework assignment about 9: 30 p.m. June 1.

Mark E. Eppig, 22, whose car crossed the median and struck Mrs. Wu's car, pleaded guilty in October to manslaughter by automobile and second-degree assault and received a three-year jail term at the Carroll County Detention Center on work-release.

Hensen and Broadfoot were convicted of manslaughter by automobile and second-degree assault last month by a Carroll County jury, after a previous jury deadlocked on those counts but found the two guilty of traffic offenses.

After Assistant State's Attorney David P. Daggett listed the defendants' offenses, defense attorneys J. Barry Hughes and Gary W. Wiessner objected that their clients' sentences should not be enhanced by nonjailable offenses.

Hughes also said he would appeal Hensen's receiving prison time and a longer sentence than the man whose car stuck Mrs. Wu's -- asking the state appeals courts to decide this issue for the first time.

The two men's driving records influenced him in reaching his sentences, said Moylan, a visiting judge retired from Washington County.

Daggett said all three drivers who were racing -- Eppig, Broadfoot and Hensen -- are equally responsible for Mrs. Wu's death, but Broadfoot and Hensen deserved harsher sentences because of their driving records. He asked that Hensen serve a nine-year sentence and Broadfoot an eight-year sentence.

Pub Date: 5/18/99

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