BOSTON (CBS) – A state Superior Court judge has recommended two years in jail and three years of probation for a Newton man charged in a 2016 fatal crash at Sweet Tomatoes restaurant that killed two people.
Bradford Casler, 56, drove through an intersection and into the restaurant on March 1, 2016. He was charged with two counts of motor vehicle homicide and one count of driving a motor vehicle to endanger.
In his recommendation, Superior Court Justice Laurence D. Pierce said the recommended sentences would go forward if Casler pleads guilty to the charges.
“The court does not believe that the maximum penalty is called for; neither does it find that home confinement alone would be appropriate,” Pierce wrote on Wednesday.
“The court concludes that the defendant is a person of good character, who has led a meaningful and productive life, notwithstanding that he suffers from a debilitating condition,” Pierce wrote. “The specifics of the offenses are catastrophic, for the victims who have been impacted directly and indirectly, and the community as a whole.”
Prosecutors earlier said Casler’s Multiple Sclerosis did not play a factor in the crash – but speed did.
Prosecutors recommended the court impose the maximum sentence of 2 1/2 years for each motor vehicle homicide charge to be served consecutively; 15 years of probation for the driving-to-endanger charge; that he not drive or seek to reinstate his driver’s license; and that he perform 200 hours of community service.
Casler’s defense had recommended concurrent terms of six months house arrest with GPS monitoring; allowing for his continued medical treatment; that his driver’s license be suspended for life, that he perform 200 hours of community service; and that the negligent operation charge be dismissed.
Casler was released on personal recognizance. Prosecutors wanted him held on $10,000 bail.
Prosecutors say Casler drove his Volkswagen SUV through a red light and intersection, hitting several cars before crashing through the front of the restaurant.
The crash killed Gregory Morin, 32, of Newton and Eleanor Miele, 57, of Watertown. Seven other people were hurt.