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Merrimack Valley

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

SALEM, Mass. - Computer company executive Robert V. Bryant was led from Superior Court in handcuffs yesterday to begin a 3 1/2-year sentence for a daytime drunken driving accident in which a 30-year-old woman was struck and killed.

Bryant, 52, of of 93 Lincolnshire Drive, Haverhill, was driving a Chevy Silverado pickup when he ran into Cynthia Anne Ray, also of Haverhill, in front of the Andover State Police barracks at 3 p.m. Dec. 12, 2010.

“I do want to say I am deeply remorseful and sorry ... I accept full responsibility for what happened,” Bryant said before he was sentenced under a plea bargain agreement.

“I assure you this has affected me deeply and tremendously ... I will carry this with me everyday,” said Bryant before he was handcuffed and taken to Middleton Jail.

It was tragic day for two families, including Ray’s husband Brian, who sat on opposite sides of the courtroom.

Ray was killed after she went to the barracks to pick up an accident report for her husband who was in an accident earlier that day. She parked her Toyota Highlander in the barracks’ front entrance U-shaped driveway on Route 125. Ray’s mother Katherine Balesteri was sitting in the passenger’s seat of the Highlander when she was struck. Balesteri ran into the barracks to get help - not immediately knowing her daughter was struck.

The impact threw Ray 61 feet onto the front lawn of the barracks. She was pronounced dead at Lawrence General Hospital.

After hitting Ray, Bryant continued driving another 100 yards before he was arrested by Trooper Edward Troy.

Yesterday, just two weeks before his scheduled trial date, Bryant pleaded guilty to vehicular homicide while drunken driving and attempting to commit a crime, leaving the scene of an accident. As part of the plea deal, Bryant was not prosecuted for manslaughter and leaving the scene of an accident, for which he had been indicted.

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