Crown calls for 8- to 10-year term for man who drove drunk and killed girlfriend

Rosie Mullaley
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A St. John’s man who was driving drunk when he struck and killed his girlfriend in Airport Heights in St. John’s should go to jail for between eight and 10 years, the Crown said today.

The suggestion was made in provincial court by prosecutor Jeff Summers during the sentencing hearing for William Conway.

The 51-year-old has pleaded guilty to five charges, including three in connection with the incident that killed Veronica Doyle Lewis on Oct. 24, 2013.

He pleaded guilty to criminal negligence by operating a vehicle that caused death, and three counts of breaching an undertaking, since the court had ordered that he abstain from alcohol, not drive and stay away from Lewis.

Summers said a longer sentence  is appropriate due to number of aggravating factors — Conway left the scene and offered no assistance after hitting Lewis, he was drunk (his third impaired driving offence since 1997), he drove with no licence or insurance, and he breached several court orders.

Conway has been in custody since his arrest on the day he killed Lewis. At around 1:20 a.m. that morning, the 57-year-old woman’s body was found lying in the road on Firdale Drive, outside Conway’s apartment, where he and Lewis had been together drinking and taking prescription pills.

Conway was drunk when he got behind the wheel of his vehicle after an argument, backed up and hit the Lewis. He had seen her clinging to the back of the pickup and continued to back up after she fell off. He told police he heard two thumps as he ran over her body and then sped off. He said he got to the end of the road, turned around and saw her lifeless body, and sped off again.

A passerby discovered Lewis lying in the road and called 911. He then activated his car alarm to get the attention of neighbours, who came running.

There was no pulse.

Several members of Lewis’s family read victim impact statements in court today.

“She wasn’t just my mother. She was my best friend,” Lewis’s daughter Michelle Doyle said, fighting back tears.

Another of the victim’s daughters, Lee Doyle, spoke, as did granddaughter Brenda Jenkins and sister-in-law Melody Doyle.

Many of the more than a dozen family members cried as each of them described the devastating effects Doyle’s death has had on their lives.

Defence lawyer Michelle Coady will present her suggestions for sentencing this afternoon.

Judge Mark Linehan is on the bench.

Twitter: TelyCourt

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Recent comments

  • kathleen mercer
    May 21, 2014 - 22:46

    i think mr. conway should get more then 10 yrs he ran over this woman and left her there dying those children have no mother to spend holidays with those grandchildren have no grandmother to visit what kind of monster would do something like this and then leave her there he needs to be lock up and throw away the key what kind of justice do we have .

  • Dolf
    May 21, 2014 - 16:12

    I dread to hear what moronic sentence will be recommended by the defense.

  • Marshall Art
    May 21, 2014 - 16:08

    Wait until they start with all the plea bargaining bull$hit. I'll give you this if you'll drop that and he agrees to this. Justice, my a$$.

  • guy incognito
    May 21, 2014 - 12:23

    Guy runs over girlfriend while driving drunk. 8-10 years. Kenny Green beats a man to death. 6 years less time served. Nl justice. The wild wild east.

    • Steve
      May 21, 2014 - 12:54

      Man shoots moose, gets find $10,000,000,000,000,000, has his house repossessed, his first born confiscated, castrated and then tarred and feathered.