Man gets nine years imprisonment in drunken driving fatal

Posted: Friday, September 15, 2000

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- An Anchorage man has been sentenced to nine years in prison for a drunken driving incident that killed one person and injured another.

Ray Fine lost control of his truck in May of last year while fumbling for a dropped cigarette, killing Lyman Reese Smith, who was riding a motorcycle with his 10-year-old grandson.

Prosecutors said Fine had consumed at least a six-pack of beer and had a blood alcohol level of .08.

Fine had pleaded no contest to criminally negligent homicide for the death of Smith and third-degree assault for injuries to the grandson. He also was convicted of drunken driving.

Superior Court judge Larry Card sentenced the 30-year-old Fine to consecutive terms of five years for negligent homicide and four years for assault.

He ordered Fine to serve a one-year sentence for drunken driving, concurrently with the other charges.

Fine was ordered to pay almost $58,000 in restitution, and his license was revoked for life.

Sentencing came Thursday, in the midst of a rash of drunken driving accidents that have angered many around the region.

''I cannot be insulated from the fact that the community cries out for greater punishment for these offenses,'' Card said.

''It's a horrible thing that happened, and it's also a horrible thing to live with,'' said Rex Butler, Fine's attorney, who had asked that his client be given probation for five years and no more than four years in jail.

''That is Ray Fine's reality for the rest of his life,'' Butler said.

Before Card handed down the sentence, Fine unfolded a piece of paper from his pocket and read statements to the judge and all those present in the courtroom.

He apologized, through tears, to the friends and relatives of Smith. He also apologized to his own wife and son and asked for forgiveness.

''I will accept any punishment that is handed down to me,'' he said.

Card said he believed Fine felt bad and accepted responsibility but that alcohol had been present in Fine's life for 15 years and he made no attempt to get treatment.

''In this case it caused harm, serious harm,'' the judge said.

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