Sentencing in deadly drunk driving accident

February 15, 2008 3:46:38 PM PST
Thirty-three-year-old John T. Davis is a married accountant. The judge called him a decent man, but Davis is a killer. His victim, 59-year-old Bhavna Patel, is as dead as if Davis had shot her with a gun. While drunk and behind the wheel, Davis veered across Black Horse Pike early on September 3, 2006 and into the path of Patel's car.

Patel's five daughters and their husbands fought back tears in court on Friday. They told the court how Davis had ripped a hole in their lives.

Bhavna and Balder Patel had been married 40 years. They were returning home from an evening in Atlantic City. Balder, who survived the crash, implored Davis to redeem himself and to dedicate his life to speaking out against drunk driving.

Under a plea agreement, Davis was sentenced to 9 years in jail. Why he was on the road that night remains a mystery, his father says.

Before Davis was handcuffed and led away, he indicated remorse and that when out of prison he would tell his story, how his drunk driving destroyed lives.

Davis will have plenty of time to work out exactly what he would say as a public speaker. He will not be eligible for parole until at least 2014.