Woman sentenced in fatal crash
By Renatta Signorini
Published: Saturday, Jan. 4, 2014, 12:01 a.m.
A smile comes to Anna Warren's face when she recalls memories of her son.
He liked his kittens, playing cards, music and serving his country as a member of the Army National Guard, said Warren of Unity.
But the death of 31-year-old Richard Warren II from injuries suffered in a 2010 drunken-driving crash “tore us apart,” she said.
Lisa K. Fannon, 35, of Unity was sentenced on Friday to serve two months to two years in a state prison on charges of reckless endangerment and driving under the influence. She was acquitted by a jury during an October trial of more serious felony charges of homicide by vehicle while driving under the influence and homicide by vehicle.
“I hope that she straightens herself up and considers the grief that she put us through — all of us,” Warren said.
According to trial testimony, Fannon was driving on Lemmon Road in the Marguerite section of Unity when her car left the roadway on a curve and struck a tree on Dec. 19, 2010.
The defense contended that Warren, a back-seat passenger, was drunk and caused the crash by grabbing and distracting Fannon while she was driving him and another passenger home from a bar.
Prosecutors said Fannon's blood-alcohol content was 0.146 percent, nearly twice the legal limit to drive in Pennsylvania.
Fannon declined to address Judge Al Bell before being sentenced Friday, saying she was “too nervous.”
Defense attorney Brian Aston said Fannon wants to further her education and is planning for her future.
“Her eyes are no longer down at her feet,” Aston said in arguing for a period of house arrest for his client.
Assistant District Attorney Allen Powanda asked for a state prison sentence, citing a 2008 case in which Fannon violated the terms of her state sentence on drug and escape charges.
“In looking at this case, I believe that the defendant is in need of rehabilitation that can best be provided by the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections,” Bell said in imposing the sentence. “I do believe that you need some period of incarceration.”
Fannon completed treatment in Gateway Rehabilitation Center in Hempfield earlier this week. She would have served a mandatory three- to six-year state prison sentence if she had been convicted of homicide by vehicle while driving drunk.
Anna Warren said that while the sentence won't bring her son back, she is glad the court process is over. Her son joined the Army National Guard after high school. He did four tours of duty — two in Iraq, one in Italy and one in security at Arnold Palmer Regional Airport in Unity.
“He was a ... good, caring person,” Warren said.
Renatta Signorini is a staff writerfor Trib Total Media. She can bereached at 724-837-5374 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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