SOMERVILLE, N.J. (AP) — A former “Melrose Place” actress convicted in a fatal drunken driving accident won’t have to go back to prison, a judge ruled Friday at a re-sentencing spurred by an appeals court’s concerns that her original sentence may have been too lenient.
Amy Locane-Bovenizer (who played aspiring actress Sandy on the first season of “Melrose Place” in 1992) served about two and a half years of a three-year sentence for the 2010 accident in Montgomery Township that killed 60-year-old Helene Seeman and seriously injured Seeman’s husband, Fred.
She was released in 2015.
The actress was convicted of vehicular manslaughter, assault by auto and other offenses and faced a sentencing range of five to 10 years on the most serious count. Her defense had argued the crash was an accident.
A state appeals court last July ordered the judge to offer a more detailed justification for why he downgraded Locane-Bovenizer’s sentence to three years. State Superior Court Judge Robert Reed later conceded he erred and should have sentenced her to an additional six months.
Prosecutors had sought a seven-year sentence.
On Friday, the judge said Locane-Bovenizer’s conduct since her release shows she isn’t a threat to society.
The Seemans’ family and friends had harshly criticized the original sentence, and they repeated those criticisms in court Friday.
Locane-Bovenizer appeared in 13 episodes of “Melrose Place” and in movies including “Cry-Baby,” ”School Ties” and “Secretary.”
According to trial testimony and statements by prosecutors, Locane-Bovenizer drank alcohol at two parties on the afternoon of the crash and was driving with a blood-alcohol level nearly three times the legal limit when her SUV slammed into Fred Seeman’s Mercury Milan as he turned into his driveway.
Locane-Bovenizer’s lawyers argued that a third motorist, whose car the actress had bumped into at a traffic light in the minutes before the accident, distracted her by honking at her and chasing her after being rear-ended.
Locane-Bovenizer still faces a federal lawsuit stemming from the crash.
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