EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

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January 26, 2013

Judge: 'You killed her just as if you shot her with a pistol'

Haverhill man given 3 1/2-year sentence for drunk driving fatal in front of State Police barracks

(Continued)

Bryant had been free on $10,000 bail since his arrest.

Bryant is a computer executive for a Philadelphia-based company. He has four children.

Bryant told Troy he had several beers before the crash. “Did I hit somebody? A pedestrian? I don’t remember doing that,” Bryant asked Troy.

“Off the record, I (expletive) up,” Bryant said to Troy, a statement his defense team would unsuccessfully try to have suppressed.

Bryant faced 15 years in jail on the vehicular manslaughter charge. On a deal reached between the defense and prosecutors, and approved by Judge John Lu, Bryant will spend 3 1/2 years in jail. He’s also subjected to an 18-month suspended sentence for five years, during which he’s barred from drinking alcohol. By pleading guilty to vehicular homicide, Bryant faces up to a 15-year loss of his driver’s license.

“You killed her just as if you shot her with a pistol,” Judge Lu said to Bryant, adding “this is the incredible price of drunk driving.”

In emotional impact statements, Ray’s mother and sister both spoke of the loss of Cynthia on that overcast Sunday afternoon 26 months ago.

Ray’s mother, Katherine Balesteri, described “standing by helplessly” on Route 125 in Andover that horrific day as he daughter lay dying and she couldn’t do anything for her.

“What example have you shown your children?” she asked Bryant. She wrote her impact statement with Ray’s husband Brian, who said next to her on the witness stand as she addressed Liu yesterday.

She noted Bryant’s children get to enjoy their siblings while Cynthia’s sister Melanie is left alone. She also looked back on the past two years, as Bryant awaited trial, where the family was tortured as the case made it’s way through the judicial system.

“All you needed to do is be accountable for your actions,” she said, adding “no sentence will ever be enough for my baby girl.”

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