TribLIVE

| News


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Judge nixes lighter sentence for Masontown man in crash death

About Liz Zemba
Picture Liz Zemba 412-601-2166
Staff Reporter
Tribune-Review

Daily Photo Galleries


By Liz Zemba

Published: Friday, Feb. 1, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

A Fayette County judge rejected a Masontown man's plea offer in a homicide by vehicle case because the proposed sentence fell 15 days short of the standard minimum sentence.

James Farrier, 52, of 117 Shortcut Road, Masontown, is charged with homicide by vehicle in the Jan. 13, 2012, death of his sister, Crystal D. Farrier.

Crystal Farrier was a rear-seat passenger in a car driven by her brother on Nov. 2, 2011 when it traveled off New Salem Road, and hit a mailbox, state police said. The eastbound car then re-entered the road, crossed the center line and hit a westbound vehicle.

Crystal Farrier, 28, sustained a severe brain injury that left her in a coma, according to police. She died about two months later of complications from a motor vehicle accident, according to the Fayette County Coroner's Office.

Police said James Farrier and the driver of the other vehicle, Donna Wallace, 62, of Fairbank, sustained moderate injuries. Another passenger in Farrier's vehicle, Dawn Bryner, 35, of Smock, suffered minor injuries.

James Farrier was charged with homicide by vehicle when his toxicology tests indicated the presence of opiates and THC, a chemical in marijuana, in his blood.

Farrier told police he had taken a prescribed narcotic before driving and “blacked out” just before the crash, according to a police affidavit.

In exchange for a sentencing recommendation that called for a mitigated-range, minimum sentence of 81⁄2 months in jail, James Farrier pleaded guilty in December to homicide by vehicle, driving under the influence and related charges.

When he appeared before Judge John F. Wagner Jr. on Thursday for sentencing, Wagner rejected the plea because it was in the mitigated range, as opposed to the more-lengthy standard range.

“We know I'm not going to sentence in the mitigated range unless you have something astounding to say,” Wagner said.The standard sentencing range requires a minimum of nine months in jail, Eddy said. He did not negotiate the plea and was unable to say why the sentencing recommendation was in the mitigated range.

Wagner allowed James Farrier to withdraw his guilty pleas and ordered the case to trial.

Farrier is free on $5,000 unsecured bond.

Liz Zemba is a reporter for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-601-2166 or lzemba@tribweb.com.

 

 

 
 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Fayette

  1. Smithfield man shot after fleeing traffic stop
  2. UFO, Bigfoot encounters to be discussed at Connellsville library program
  3. Connellsville community center enjoying rebirth
  4. Masontown girl pulls off heroic task at state farm show
  5. Knife incident on bus gives Connellsville Area School District pause
  6. Curfew concerns presented to Connellsville mayor
  7. Cause of Republic blaze under investigation
  8. Juveniles waive charges to Fayette court in Connellsville Township assault/robbery
  9. South Connellsville accepts police chief’s resignation
  10. ‘Going downtown’ with dad, mom in ’50s among Connellsville native’s treasured memories
  11. Choral concerts planned in Dawson church
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.