Sachs stands up for drunk driver

Posted at 9:23 PM, Sep 22, 2015
and last updated 2015-09-22 21:23:30-04

Bob Krommendyk says he was surprised to learn there would be a hearing to decide whether the man who killed his brother in a DUI crash would have his sentenced reduced.

"I don't like the fact they opened up this whole thing again. We tried to put this behind us," Krommendyk said.

But what was even more surprising was who was testifying on behalf of the suspect: State Senator Maria Sachs.

Sachs said she was contacted by suspect Beruch Zegeye's family.

She admits she has never met the young man convicted of DUI Manslaughter, but says she wanted to help him get out of his sentence because he is an "exceptional person."

"This young man is an example of the best we can do within the Department of Corrections," Sachs said.

Zegeye pled guilty to DUI Manslaughter in the death of Paul Krommendyk and was serving the final six months of his 6-year prison sentence. He was also sentenced to seven years probation.

Investigators say Zegeye was driving his father's Porsche when he plowed into the back of the victim's car in 2008.

Zegeye's attorney, with Sachs' help, asked the judge to free Zegeye early and do away with the seven years of probation. But after hearing testimony from various people about how remorseful the suspect is, the judge ruled not to change the sentence.

Zegeye's father is a prominent brain surgeon, but Sachs says she was not aware the family was wealthy.

"It doesn't matter to me if he is remorseful. If I went out and killed somebody, I would be sorry too. Doesn't mean I shouldn't be punished," Krommendyk said.

Zegeye is scheduled to be released from prison in March and then will start his seven years of probation.

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