A Long Island man has been sentenced to up to 32 years in prison in a 2012 drunk-driving crash that killed a then-18-year-old woman who had recently graduated from high school.
A judge sentenced Michael Grasing, 34, of Babylon, in court in Riverhead Monday. Grasing was convicted in November of aggravated vehicular homicide and other traffic violations but acquitted of the top count in the indictment, second-degree murder by depraved indifference.
Grasing apologized to Walsh's family before he was sentenced, telling her parents he would grieve with them for the rest of his life.
"It hurts every day knowing I caused the death of that beautiful young girl," he said.
Walsh's family wasn't interested in the apology.
"I hate you more and more," Cheryl Walsh, Brittany's mother, told Grasing. "Every day I wish you had died that night and Brittany had lived."
Prosecutors have said Grasing had a blood-alcohol reading four times the legal limit of 0.08 in the June 2012 crash in Lindenhurst.
Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota said Grasing ran two red lights and was weaving in traffic before striking Brittney Walsh's car. Spota said Grasing was driving at speeds approaching 100 mph. Walsh's vehicle flipped multiple times and she was pronounced dead at the scene.
Grasing fled the scene of the crash, mowing down traffic signs and narrowly missing pedestrians before he slammed into a pole, prosecutors said.
Walsh had just graduated with an advanced Regents diploma from Walter G. O'Connell Copiague High School.
Her family, armed with a pile of letters demanding justice for the 18-year-old, asked the judge Monday to hand down the maximum sentence.
"I am all alone. I miss Brittany," Walsh's brother, Sean, wrote in a letter read by a prosecutor in court. "Please do what you can to make him pay for what he did."