MADD outraged over hit-and-run sentence
The probation sentence a state judge handed a motorist who killed a moped rider in a hit-and-run drunken driving crash “is an abysmal message to send to the driving public,” said Carol McNamee, founder of the Hawaii chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving.
Mahalo for reading the Honolulu Star-Advertiser!
You're reading a premium story. Read the full story with our Print & Digital Subscription.
Already a subscriber? Log in now to continue reading this story.
The probation sentence
a state judge handed a motorist who killed a moped rider in a hit-and-run drunken driving crash “is an abysmal message to send to the driving public,” said Carol McNamee, founder of the Hawaii chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving.
McNamee said the sentence victimizes moped rider Paul Andrew’s friends and family a second time, and she “feels as though it minimizes MADD’s 35 years of work in Hawaii teaching people about the seriousness of drinking and driving.”
Jerry Putnam was sentenced Monday by Circuit Court Judge Catherine Remigio to five years of probation with the possibility of only
30 days’ incarceration. McNamee said the victim’s father and brother stormed out of the courtroom after hearing the sentence.
Putnam, 48, was behind the wheel of a car that crashed into a moped operated by Andrews on Kapiolani Boulevard near Ala Moana Center on May 26, 2017. Police said the impact threw Andrews, 32, from his moped. A city ambulance took Andrews in critical condition to The Queen’s Medical Center, where he died three days later.
An Uber driver saw Putnam stop, get out to check the damage to his vehicle, get back in and drive off. The Uber driver followed Putnam to Putnam’s Salt Lake home. The driver told police that after the crash Putnam drove erratically, disregarding stop signs and signal lights.
Putnam called 911 from his home. He failed a field sobriety test and had a blood-
alcohol concentration of 0.12. The legal threshold for drunken driving is 0.08 BAC.
An Oahu grand jury returned an indictment in October charging Putnam with first-degree negligent homicide and fleeing the scene of a fatal traffic accident. Both charges are Class B felonies punishable by up to 10 years in prison.
Putnam pleaded no contest in February to both charges and asked Remigio to defer his no-contest pleas to give him the opportunity to avoid conviction.
At sentencing Monday, Deputy Prosecutor Lawrence Sousie told Remigio state law does not allow deferred pleas for negligent homicide and recommended a 10-year prison sentence.
Remigio sentenced Putnam to the probation, one year of which he will have
to serve behind bars. But she is also giving Putnam the
opportunity for early release after 30 days.