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Driver Pleads Guilty To Upgraded Charge In State Trooper Death Linked To 2003 Crash

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BROCKTON (CBS/AP) – A Wayland man was sentenced to three years of probation Wednesday after pleading guilty to vehicular homicide in a 2003 drunk driving crash that resulted in the death of a state trooper years later.

William Senne pleaded guilty in 2005 to drunken driving for the crash in Wareham that left Trooper Ellen Engelhardt with severe brain damage.

Trooper Ellen Engelhardt. (State Police photo)

Trooper Ellen Engelhardt. (State Police photo)

Senne was 18 at the time of the crash. He spent two-and-a-half years in jail.

When Engelhardt died in June 2011, prosecutors charged Senne with motor vehicle homicide.

He pleaded guilty to the upgraded charge Wednesday in Plymouth Superior Court.

Plymouth District Attorney Tim Cruz said he wanted Senne, 29, to spend up to five more years in prison.

But Engelhardt’s family was against that and the judge sentenced him to time served.

Senne did not speak to reporters after the hearing.

A public relations firm issued this statement on his behalf Wednesday.

“Just as he always has been, Billy Senne remains deeply remorseful for the terrible tragedy that took place more than 10 years ago. Billy hopes that by once again tendering a plea to the Court, Trooper Engelhardt’s family will find some degree of closure. He is firmly committed to being a productive member of society and will continue to grow his business, support charitable organizations and be a positive influence on his family and friends.”

State Police Col. Timothy Alben released a statement after Senne appeared in court.

“We appreciate the efforts of District Attorney Cruz and his staff to speak for Trooper Engelhardt and hold the defendant accountable under the law. That said, we respect the judicial process. We hope, most of all, that the Engelhardt family finds solace in their warm memories of Ellen and in the stellar regard with which her memory is held throughout the Massachusetts State Police. Her sacrifice in the line of duty will forever be in our minds, and we will always grieve for her loss.”

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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