A Flanders man convicted of aggravated vehicular homicide last month after a three-week trial was sentenced today to 12-and-one-half to 25 years in state prison, Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota said Thursday.
Joseph Perez had a blood alcohol level nearly three times in excess of the legal limit more than three hours after the vehicle he was driving struck newspaper delivery person Donna Sartori as she delivered papers in the Hampton Bays business district at 4:15 a.m. on January 5, 2014.
During the trial, evidence was introduced that Perez, 31, had consumed a bottle of whiskey before bar-hopping with friends, ending up at a club in Hampton Bays where, at closing time, Perez struck a car in the parking lot and left the scene.
The victim’s husband, Anthony Guggino, addressed the court at sentencing, describing Perez as “an animal” who callously ignored his dying wife at the crash scene and instead called his mother and not 911 in the minutes after the collision.
The victim’s sister, Debra Fox of Saratoga Springs, said “Donna was a healthy 56-year old woman that had a lot of life left to live. However, because of you Joseph Perez, and your reckless drinking and driving, my sister’s life was cut short.”
Citing the lengthy prison sentence, Fox said the fact remains that “someday you will be released from prison and will be reunited with your family,” telling the defendant that Sartori’s family will go on enduring “pain and sadness” during holidays and birthdays.