Drunk Driver Charged In Trooper Death Returns To Court

BROCKTON (CBS) – A man who served time in prison for driving drunk and hitting a state trooper was back in court Thursday to face new charges in the case.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Mark Katic reports

26-year-old William Senne pleaded not guilty at his arraignment on motor vehicle homicide charges in Brockton Superior Court.

Senne was 18 when he drove drunk at almost 100 miles-an-hour on Route 25 and crashed into State Trooper Ellen Engelhardt’s cruiser in Wareham in July 2003.

trooper ellen engelhardt Drunk Driver Charged In Trooper Death Returns To Court

Trooper Ellen Engelhardt

Senne was convicted in 2005, served two-and-a-half-years in prison and settled a civil lawsuit.

Engelhardt lived eight years with severe brain injuries before passing away in June at age 58.

Her death prompted prosecutors to file the upgraded charges.

Senne’s attorney Dan O’Malley told reporters Thursday they are dealing with old evidence.

“That’s the nature of it. It couldn’t go any sooner. It’s unsual, but we’ll deal with it.”

Plymouth County District Attorney Timothy Cruz said it won’t matter.

“We always knew, unfortunately, that the injuries to the trooper were significant and I think the injuries, obviously in this case, they caused her death.”

Senne was released on a promise to return to court for his next hearing.

He is still on probation for the 2005 conviction.

If he is convicted on the new charge, the two-and-a-half years he has already served in prison will be applied to the new sentence.

  • Marky

    Nothing will happen to him in “Slap-On-The-Wrist-Achusetts:

  • sympathizer

    I feel sad for the trooper, should never have happened, but what good does it do to take another life? I believe this has gone to far, and certainly seems like a personal vendetta. How many repeat offenders are given a slap on the wrist and sent home to offend again? Those are the individuals who should be put in jail for a very long time. This was a young kid who made a terrible mistake, but does that mean that no matter when she would have died, he should be tried for murder? How long —10/20/30 years later? He has turned his life around, and has not had any issues since this has happened. He took his punishment, has gone on to make an honest living, and will live with this for the rest of his life. Who knows, he may someday go on to be vocal example to others of what not to do while growing up. This is far different than a repeat offender who has no regard for the law. I wonder what Trooper Engelhardt would have wanted, would she have forgiven and allowed the young man to serve just his original sentence, knowing he had become a productive citizen?

  • Steve Crowell

    Well said… Sympathizer. I don’t know William and didn’t ever meet Ellen, but I think there is merit in what you have written.
    This will happen again. When it does, again, there will be the hard plastic and steel roll bar there to inflict injury. The “Cage” or ‘partition’ is what Ellen hit her head on. The Cage is illegal and dangerous according to the USDOT and many doctors.

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