Stevensville man given 1 year for DWI fatality

March 26, 2003|By Andrea F. Siegel | Andrea F. Siegel,SUN STAFF

A Stevensville man who prosecutors say was on probation for an alcohol-related incident was ordered yesterday to serve a year in jail for plunging his van into a highway median while impaired, killing a landscaper.

A judge criticized Earl Wayne Bowers, 45, for drinking while on a probation that specifically prohibited drinking. Lawyers said at the time Bowers was serving three years' probation from 2000 for a fourth-degree burglary in Queen Anne's County and had acknowledged having an alcohol problem.

Giovany Acosta, 24, a Guatemalan immigrant living in Reisterstown, was killed and two other workers were hurt when the van Bowers was driving careened into the Ritchie Highway median in Arnold on Feb. 11, 2002, as the men pruned shrubs.

Anne Arundel County Circuit Judge Paul A. Hackner sentenced Bowers to three years in jail, suspending two of them. He also was ordered to serve five years of probation. During the first two years he was ordered to have an ignition lock on his car that prevents him from driving after drinking alcohol. Hacker suspended a $5,000 fine and recommended work release for the electrician so that he could support his family.

No one from Acosta's family in Guatemala could attend the sentencing, said William D. Roessler, deputy state's attorney. "They say their emotional pain seems unbearable at times," their lawyer, Michael Zweig, wrote in a victim impact statement to the court.

Bowers, 45, apologized and said he was focusing on sobriety. "I can't change what happened," he said. "I have changed."

Bowers is a diabetic, but it is unclear whether the disease played a role in the crash.

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