“They are learning or relearning accountability, responsibility in a therapeutic environment,’’ he said. “And they aren’t getting this for free as they must go out and work.”
He said it has to be an approved work site that the Sheriff’s Department has an arrangement with.
Police said the accident that claimed Karen LaPierre’s life happened at 5:20 a.m. on Dec. 18 of 2011. Karen and Bill LaPierre were making their regular Sunday morning stop at Heav’nly Donuts at 55 So. Main St. in Bradford to pick up doughnuts for hospitality gatherings after morning Masses at Sacred Hearts Church. Karen LaPierre was putting the doughnuts in the truck when Leavitt drove into her.
During the hearing in March at which Leavitt plead guilty to her crime, Bill LaPierre forgave her but also told her how much he had lost because of her actions.
“I forgive you for what you have done to my family and me and hope you get the help you need to become a better person,” Bill LaPierre said.
In an expression of resolve and strength, LaPierre talked about his wife, how she had been taken from him and how much pain Leavitt had caused. He called the accident “an inexcusable act of disregard for a beautiful human life, by a drunk driver.”
“My life will never be the same, my loneliness is a daily sentence for me,” Bill LaPierre said. “When Karen died, I lost my best friend, my lover, my primary confidant. I also feel I have lost part of myself.”
Leavitt appeared filled with anguish as LaPierre told her he forgave her.
Judge Michael Uhlarik called it “one of those cases where you wonder what kind of penalty fits the crime.”
“Hopefully this sentence will further help Miss Leavitt understand the immense tragedy this has caused,” he said. “It’s one of those cases of bad judgment, really bad judgment.’’