BRENTWOOD — Accused of showing no remorse for causing the crash that killed his best friend, a Danville man described at his sentencing yesterday how he misses him each day.
“This whole thing is a bad nightmare,” Cameron Dearborn told Rockingham Superior Court Judge N. William Delker. “I think about him all the time.”
Dearborn, 19, was sentenced to five to 10 years in state prison for the negligent homicide death of his Pinkerton Academy classmate Korey Traficante, 17, on Nov. 20, 2010.
Traficante was killed when the Toyota Saturn driven by a drunk Dearborn hit a stone wall and tree before flipping over on Frost Road in Derry. The accident occurred down the street from Dearborn’s former home, where he, Traficante, and friends were drinking beer.
Dearborn’s failure to express regret for Traficante’s death was a key issue during his five-day trial in March and yesterday’s sentencing hearing when prosecutor Stephanie Johnson requested he receive the maximum seven and a half to 15 years for negligent homicide.
“This defendant has shown absolutely no remorse for this,” Johnson said.
Dearborn, his family and their attorney, Kenneth Bernard, claim there is no solid proof Dearborn was the driver during the nighttime crash.
Dearborn reiterated yesterday he doesn’t remember the accident or the fact he was driving, only that he had a few beers before the two teens decided to take a ride in a friend’s car.
He said he’s had difficulty coping since the accident and has been harassed and received death threats.
“I have emotional scars — images that won’t go away,” Dearborn said. “It was a stupid decision to make.”
He told of how the two used to love to fix and ride dirt bikes together.
But Johnson told the judge Dearborn has portrayed himself as the victim and fails to take responsibility for his actions.
While free on bail, Dearborn was arrested by Danville police last year while allegedly hosting an underage drinking party at his home, Johnson said. He also had several driving infractions even though he only had his license for a year, Johnson said.
“He clearly did not learn anything from what happened and doesn’t care,” Johnson said. “The defendant views himself as the victim.”
Dearborn was charged with possession of marijuana in connection with the Danville incident and pleaded no contest, Bernard said.
Dearborn’s mother, Dawn Dearborn, defended her son and said Traficante was “a part of the family.” His maternal grandmother defended him as well.
“He has shown remorse; he doesn’t show guilt,” Dawn Dearborn said. “He’s a good kid.”
The dead teen’s parents, Kevin and Angela Traficante, struggled to speak as they told the judge how their son’s death has devastated them.
“It just hurts so much,” the mother said. “I’ll never get to hear him again. He’s all I think about. I miss him so much.”
Angela Traficante also said she hopes Dearborn has remorse and that he never drives again.
Kevin Traficante said he couldn’t leave his home for three months after his son’s death and was unable to work, causing him to lose his home and business.
“He was cheated and robbed out of the rest of his life,” the father said.
The couple told how Dearborn’s father was drunk when he showed up at their son’s funeral, saying he wanted them to know Cameron wasn’t responsible for the crash.
The elder Dearborn was banned from attending the sentencing following an outburst at his son’s conviction, swearing loudly in the courtroom and saying, “At least I’ll be able to see my son again.”
While announcing his sentence, Delker chastised Dearborn for violating his bail restrictions and said he never should drove while drunk.
“You didn’t even abide by this court’s orders,” he said. “There was absolutely no need for anyone to get in that car that night.”
Delker also sentenced Dearborn to three and a half to seven years in prison for aggravated driving while intoxicated. All but 14 days of that is suspended. Dearborn must also pay $9,468 in restitution and will lose his driver’s license for nine years.
Johnson asked that Dearborn perform 500 hours of community service by speaking to high school students about the dangers of drinking alcohol, but Delker denied the request. The judge said he did not think Dearborn could effectively communicate that message to students.