HAVERHILL (CBS) — A teen has been found guilty of motor vehicle homicide by negligent operation in a 2011 fatal car crash linked to texting.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Bernice Corpuz reports.

Aaron Deveau, 18, was sentenced to to 2 and a half years on a motor vehicle homicide charge and two years on a texting charge. Deveau will serve only one year for both charges with the balance of the sentence to be suspended for five years with three years probation.

He also lost his driver’s license for 15 years and owes some restitution, with the amount to be determined at a later date.

Deveau was accused of texting while behind the wheel on February 20, 2011 when his car smashed into one driven by Donald Bowley, killing the New Hampshire father of three and seriously injuring Bowley’s girlfriend.

“My son did not intentionally go out to hurt anybody.  He would never,” said Deveau’s mother.

Asked about the conviction, the victim’s daughter Dawn Bowley said justice was served “as much as it’s gonna be.”

“My dad was my rock. Anything that was wrong my dad made it right,” said Dawn Bowley.

On the stand Tuesday, Deveau denied sending a text message while behind the wheel moments before the crash, while the prosecution asserted that they had phone records to prove a text was sent.

Instead, Deveau testified he was tired from his dish-washing job and was distracted while worrying about his homework.

The jury deliberated for less than three hours on Tuesday and less than an hour on Wednesday.

This is the first time in Massachusetts history that someone has been convicted of causing a fatal accident while texting behind the wheel.

Since the texting-while-driving law took effect on Sept. 30, 2010, more than 1,800 people have been cited, according to MassDOT.

2010 (September to December)

  • Junior Operators cited: 19
  • Adult, civil offenses: 286
  • Adult, criminal offense: 3


  • Junior Operators cited: 53
  • Adult, civil offenses: 1,147
  • Adult, criminal offense: 9

2012 (through March)

  • Junior Operators cited: 19
  • Adult, civil offenses: 283
  • Adult, criminal offense: 2


  • Total Junior Operator citations: 91
  • Total Adult Operator citations, (civil and criminal): 1,730

Statistics were provided by MassDOT.

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