Alan Faynzilberg wept as he asked the judge to take two years off the sentence recommended by prosecutors. The judge refused.
A Belleville man was sentenced to eight years in prison Thursday, in a drunken head-on collision that took the life of a young father of two in May 2016.
During a somber afternoon hearing in Superior Court in Newark, the judge said he had seen other victims’ family members express forgiveness toward their loved one’s killer. But none, he added, had ever done what Pietro Davila did following the death of his son, 33-year-old Luis Davila.
“I’ve never had a victim’s family member come before me and request that he be put on the defendant’s visitation list,” said Superior Court Judge Ronald D. Wigler.
And while Wigler wished defendant Alan Faynzilberg, 20, success in eventually turning his life around, the judge was not as forgiving as Davila’s family, and refused to reduce the 8-year sentence recommended by prosecutors in a deal that led to Faynzilberg’s guilty plea on June 26.
Faynzilberg was jailed following the incident, then released, but had been back in custody since last week, when he turned himself in on what was his original scheduling date.
Pietro Davila, 59, of Jersey City, was one of three people who made victim impact statements. But rather than condemning Faynzilberg, DaVila expressed compassion for the young defendant, who stood to the side of the courtroom in prison garb, with his hands cuffed.
“I feel content, because we are Christian,” Davila said through an interpreter. Turning to Faynzilberg, he added, “This young man, Alan, on my behalf I forgive him.”
The victim’s sister, Giselle Davila, was equally compassionate, telling Faynzelberg, “I hope that when you complete your sentence, you change your life for the better.”
It was about 8:30 p.m. on May 27, when authorities say Faynzilberg crossed into oncoming traffic on Belleville Avenue and struck Davila’s car head-on. Authorities said Davila was pronounced dead around 9:40 p.m. at Clara Maass Medical Center in Belleville. A passenger in Faynzilberg’s car, his 21-year-old girlfriend, was injured.
Wigler said Faynzilberg would have to spend at least 85 percent of his sentence behind bars, minus 304 days for time served. The judge also ordered him to serve three years probation following his release, and to pay the Davila family $18,629 in restitution for burial and other costs related to his death.
Assistant Prosecutor Betty Rodriguez said during Thursday’s hearing that Faynzilberg admitted using alcohol, marijuana and the tranquilizer Xanax prior to the crash. She told the judge that in that and prior arrests for drug-related offenses, Faynzilberg had repeatedly shown “a complete disregard for the law.”
With his lawyer, William Fitzsimmons, at his side, Faynzilberg made an emotional plea for leniency.
“Let me express my deepest and most sincere apologies for May 27, 2016,” Faynzilberg said, sobbing at that point and others during the hearing.
“I’m sure it was sincere,” said Wigler, the presiding criminal judge in Essex County.
That said, Wigler told Faynzilberg that, under his plea deal, the prosecutor’s office …read more
Source:: New Jersey Real-Time News