In June of 2021, Krystal Gerardo, a 24-year-old from North Scituate, was a passenger on a motorcycle driven by 28-year-old William Botelho when they hit a guardrail on Acushnet Avenue. The two were rushed to hospitals for treatment, but unfortunately, Gerardo did not survive her injuries.
Botelho now faces serious charges of vehicular homicide by OUI after allegedly consuming alcohol throughout the day on June 6. The accusation follows a sequence of events where Botelho was seen drinking at three different locations. First at the Bach Dor Café, next at the East Providence Yacht Club, and ending with the Knuckle Heads Bar and Grille in New Bedford. Witnesses reported watching the pair drive down Acushnet Avenue, a road with sharp curves and a low speed limit of 30 miles per hour.
However, police say that Botelho was driving at a speed faster than the posted limit and ultimately lost control of his Harley Davidson on one of the turns. The bike hit a guardrail, causing both Botelho and his passenger, Geraldo, to be knocked off the bike. Despite first responders arriving on the scene and rushing them to the hospital, Geraldo tragically did not survive.
Vehicular Homicide Penalties in Massachusetts
As stated in Massachusetts Law Section 24G, whoever operates a motor vehicle with a percentage of alcohol in their blood of .08 or higher or while under the influence and so operates a motor vehicle recklessly or negligently so that the lives or safety of the public might be endangered, and by any such operation so described causes the death of another person is guilty of homicide by a motor vehicle while under the influence of an intoxicating substance.
Penalties can include:
- Imprisonment in the state prison for two and a half years to 15 years and a fine up to $5,000, or;
- House of correction for one year to two and a half years and a fine of up to $5,000
Furthermore, the sentence cannot be reduced to less than a year, and it cannot be suspended. Those convicted are also not eligible for probation, parole, or furlough, nor can they receive any deduction from their sentence until they have served at least a year. However, there are situations where a temporary release may be necessary.
Situations where there may be a temporary release include:
- Attending the funeral of a relative
- Visiting a critically ill relative
- Obtaining emergency medical or psychiatric services
- To participate in employment pursuant to a work release program
In these circumstances, the commissioner of correction may, on the recommendation of the warden or superintendent, grant a temporary release. The partial flexibility in this ruling ensures that convicts remain behind bars for at least a year but also allows for some exceptions in extreme cases.
Life After a Conviction
Facing vehicular homicide charges is not only a serious legal issue but can be a life-altering experience that can leave a lasting impact. The thought of potentially spending years in prison, facing heavy fines, and the possibility of struggling to find work or housing is daunting.
Beyond the legal consequences, the damage to your reputation can be immense. Vehicular homicide charges are among the most serious charges one can face, and if convicted, one can expect to face social stigma and judgment for years to come.
The stress and pressure of these charges can be overwhelming, and it is essential to seek legal help to navigate the complex legal system. The aftermath of vehicular homicide charges can be a long and difficult road, but with the right support, it is possible to move forward and rebuild one's life.
Contact Our Team Today
Being charged with vehicular homicide can be a difficult and emotionally taxing situation for anyone involved. If you or someone you know is facing these charges, it's crucial to have a reliable and experienced defense team.
At the Law Office of Frank D. Camera and Associates, P.C., our homicide and murder defense lawyers understand the seriousness of these charges and can provide you with legal support to help you navigate this difficult time. With over 25 years of experience, our team has dealt with a variety of vehicular homicide cases and is ready to fight for your rights and can handle your case with the utmost care and attention.
Contact us today to schedule a consultation and take the first step in protecting yourself or your loved one. Dial (877) 444-1098 or fill out our online form.