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Coffay Gets 20 Years for Crash That Killed Magruder Senior and Two Grads

Judge: “It's time for the community to heal.”

A judge sentenced a Rockville man on Thursday to 20 years in prison for driving the car involved in in May.

Kevin Coffay, 20, pleaded guilty Nov. 10 to three counts of vehicular manslaughter and one count of failing to remain at the scene of a crash where a death had occurred, according to WTOP.com.

At the sentencing hearing in a Rockville courtroom packed with friends and family of the victims and defendant on Thursday, a sobbing Coffay apologized.

"This is doing nothing but eating me alive inside,” he said, according to WUSA9.com. “Words cannot do justice to the shame and guilt I feel every day. It haunts me every day."

Prosecutors argued in court filings that Coffay deserved a strong sentence because of a history of driving- and alcohol-related offenses, The Gazette reported.

Judge Theresa M. Adams sentenced Coffay to 10 years for each of three felony charges of vehicular manslaughter, plus 10 years for failure to remain at the scene, WUSA9.com reported. Adams suspended 20 years of the sentence.

“It's time for the community to heal,” Adams reportedly said. “This behavior must stop."

During the hearing in Montgomery County Circuit Court, Coffay’s mother apologized for her son’s behavior on May 14, WTOP.com reported. That night, Coffay, a 2009 Magruder High School graduate and student at James Madison University, attended two parties and became so drunk that eyewitnesses said he was bumping into walls and told not to drive, prosecutors said.

In a sentencing memo, prosecutors included several photos that appeared on Coffay’s Facebook page on the night of the crash, including one of Coffay holding what appears to be a beer bottle, The Washington Post reported.

The crash occurred about 3 a.m. May 15 along Olney-Laytonsville Road, when, police said, the Toyota Corolla driven by Coffay hit a telephone pole and two trees.

Charles Nardella, 19, of Gaithersburg, the only passenger in the car to survive the crash, reportedly told police that Coffay immediately fled the scene.

Coffay was arrested three and a half hours later after trying to enter his home in the 16700 block of Cutlass Drive in Rockville. He had a blood alcohol level of 0.16—twice the legal limit in Maryland, The Washington Post reported.

Haeley N. McGuire, 18, of the 5600 block of Artesian Drive in Derwood; Spencer Datt, 18, of the 5700 block of Sunrise Hill Road in Derwood; and John Hoover, 20, of the 5800 block of Rolling Drive in Derwood, died.

in the days after the crash as friends took to Facebook and Twitter to remember and mourn.

McGuire was scheduled to graduate from on May 31. Her younger sister accepted her diploma, The Gazette reported.

Datt and Hoover graduated from Magruder in 2010 and 2009, respectively.

Magruder’s athletic teams are wearing T-shirts during warm-ups this season in honor of Datt, a former Magruder basketball player.

Correction: The original version of this article incorrectly stated that Judge Theresa M. Adams is a Montgomery County Circuit Court judge. Judge Adams was a visiting judge from Frederick County Circuit Court. This version corrects the sixth paragraph and adds "Montgomery County Circuit Court" in the eighth paragraph. Rockville Patch regrets the error.

Jerry January 07, 2012 at 06:24 PM
It seems that there were accomplices to this crime that got off scott free. The host of the party where Coffay consumed his alcohol had some responsibility to prevent him from leaving the premises with his car keys, especially if his drinking problem was known and his condition was obvious. If he could not be physically restrained, then the police should have been summoned. The passengers in the car were responsible for letting him start the vehicle and proceed. Unfortunately, they paid the ultimate price for their poor judgment.

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