'Melrose Place' Actress Guilty, Jailed in Fatal N.J. Crash

'Melrose Place' Actress Guilty, Jailed in Fatal N.J. Crash

News Nov 28, 2012

SOMERVILLE, N.J. (AP) — A former "Melrose Place" actress who was driving drunk when her SUV plowed into another car, killing a woman, was convicted Tuesday of vehicular homicide and jailed after her bail was revoked. She was acquitted of a more serious charge of aggravated manslaughter.

Amy Locane-Bovenizer, 40, had sought to shift blame for the fatal accident to a third motorist whose car she had rear-ended and who had been pursuing the actress, and also to the husband of the car accident victim for making what witnesses said was a slow turn in front of her SUV.

But the conviction on a charge of death by auto, also known as vehicular homicide, was as a matter of law a "rejection of that defense," Assistant Prosecutor Matthew Murphy said following the verdict.

Locane-Bovenizer's blood-alcohol level was nearly three times the legal limit when the crash occurred in 2010 on a dark two-lane road in Montgomery Township, in central New Jersey, according to evidence presented at the trial.

The defense did not dispute she was drunk, arguing only that she should not be held criminally responsible.

Locane-Bovenizer, who did not testify at the trial, appeared in 13 episodes of TV's "Melrose Place" and in movies including "Cry-Baby," ''School Ties" and "Secretary."

She faces five to 10 years in prison on the vehicular homicide count and must serve a minimum of 85 percent of that sentence without parole. She also faces three to five years in prison for her conviction on a second count of assault by auto, which stemmed from injuries she caused the husband of the woman killed in the crash. Sentencing was set for March 1; motor vehicle charges are also pending.

Helene Seeman, 60, was killed in the accident, and her husband, Fred Seeman, was seriously injured. He was turning their car into their driveway when Locane-Bovenizer's SUV slammed into them.

"This is a sad day for the Seeman Family. There were no winners declared by the verdict. There are only losers," Murphy said. "A husband lost his dear wife; his two children lost their mother; and Helene's mother lost her daughter. That loss can never be rectified by a verdict."

The trial began in early October, with more than 50 witnesses taking the stand. Murphy said the Somerset County prosecutor's office was committed to spend "whatever public funds were necessary to match the financial resources available to the defense team."

Continue Reading

To prove her guilty of aggravated manslaughter, the prosecution had to show Locane-Bovenizer not only caused Seeman's death, but also that she did so under circumstances showing extreme indifference to human life and by acting recklessly.

A mother of two living in Hopewell Township and acting in community theater, Locane-Bovenizer had begun drinking the night of the accident at a cast party, testimony showed. Witnesses said she also drank at a barbecue she later attended with her family before leaving on her own.

The defense sought to place much of the blame on the accident on the third motorist, Maureen Ruckelshaus, who was pursuing Locane-Bovenizer after being rear-ended.

Ruckelshaus said she had told the clearly intoxicated driver to turn off her SUV, but that the woman drove off.

"I knew how drunk she was," Ruckelshaus testified. "My reaction was, 'Oh my God, I have to figure out a way to get her to pull over.'"

The defense portrayed Ruckelshaus as a vigilante who frightened the former actress by trying to grab her keys from the ignition and then giving chase. The defense said Locane-Bovenizer even offered Ruckelshaus her cellphone to call police.

Ruckelshaus denied reaching in for the keys. "I said, 'I don't want your cellphone. ... I want you to turn your car off,'" she testified.

Ruckelshaus followed the former actress for about four miles, with both going about the speed limit of 35 mph for most of the way until a car in front of them moved out of the way and Locane-Bovenizer accelerated to more than 50 mph just prior to the crash, according to evidence presented at the trial.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Source
The Associated Press
Crestline Coach attended the Eighth Annual Saskatchewan Health & Safety Leadership conference on June 8 to publicly sign the “Mission: Zero” charter on behalf of the organization, its employees and their families.
ImageTrend, Inc. announced the winners of the 2017 Hooley Awards, which recognize those who are serving in a new or innovative way to meet the needs of their organization, including developing programs or solutions to benefit providers, administrators, or the community.
Firefighters trained with the local hospital in a drill involving a chemical spill, practicing a decontamination process and setting up a mass casualty tent for patient treatment.
Many oppose officials nationwide who propose limiting Narcan treatment on patients who overdose multiple times to save city dollars, saying it's their job to save lives, not to play God.
While it's unclear what exact substance they were exposed to while treating a patient for cardiac arrest, two paramedics, an EMT and a fire chief were observed at a hospital after experiencing high blood pressure, rapid heartbeat, and mood changes.
After a forest fire broke out, students, residents and nursing home residents were evacuated and treated for light smoke inhalation before police started allowing people to return to their buildings.
AAA’s Stars of Life program celebrates the contributions of ambulance professionals who have gone above and beyond the call of duty in service to their communities or the EMS profession.
Forthcoming events across the country will provide a forum for questions and ideas
The Harris County Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Management (HCOHSEM) has released its 2016 Annual Report summarizing HCOHSEM’s challenges, operations and key accomplishments during the past year.
Patients living in rural areas can wait up to 30 minutes on average for EMS to arrive, whereas suburban or urban residents will wait up to an average of seven minutes.
Tony Spadaro immediately started performing CPR on his wife, Donna, when she went into cardiac arrest, contributing to her survival coupled with the quick response of the local EMS team, who administered an AED shock to restore her heartbeat.
Sunstar Paramedics’ clinical services department and employee Stephen Glatstein received statewide awards.
A Good Samaritan, Jeremy English, flagged down a passing police officer asking him for Narcan after realizing the passengers in the parked car he stopped to help were overdosing on synthetic cannabinoids.
Family and fellow firefighters and paramedics mourn the loss of Todd Middendorf, 46, called "one of the cornerstones" of the department.