Sunday, October 28, 2007

Demitras Pleads Guilty In Wood Chipper Accident

Demitras Pleads Guilty In Wood Chipper Accident
Bradley Demitras pleaded guilty to three counts of involuntary manslaughter this morning in court.

(KDKA) PITTSBURGH The man accused of causing a crash that killed a father from Butler County and two of his four-year-old children has pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter.

Just before the trial’s opening statements were set to start this morning 35-year-old Bradley Demitras, of Pine Township, pleaded guilty to three counts of involuntary manslaughter in exchange for having the charge of homicide by vehicle dropped.

He now faces a maximum sentence of 17 years and 90 days in prison plus fines.

“He comes to the office a lot to talk with me about this case. I can't explain to you how remorseful he is about this,” says Demitras' defense attorney, Pat Thomassey. “I can't. And even some of the things he said to the police, I think he said to make the case worse for himself.”

And a statement released this afternoon from Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala on behalf of the Morrison family read in part:

“While no guilty plea or conviction could ever relieve our pain or satisfy our anger, the plea agreement reached today assures that Mr. Demitras takes full responsibility for the deaths of our loved ones and the injuries to Ethan, while sparing our family the nightmare of reliving the details of that horrific day through a public trial.”

Demitras is accused of not properly securing a wood chipper to the truck he was driving. That wood chipper broke free while he was driving and slammed into a van along Route 8 in Richland Township last April.

Spencer Morrison and two of his four-year-old triplets, Alaina and Garret, died in that accident. The third triplet, Ethan, was seriously injured. He suffered a depressed skull fracture, multiple facial fractures and a broken thigh bone.

Police said Demitras had been speeding and did not properly check the safety connections between his truck and the wood chipper trailer that he was towing.

Stay with KDKA for the latest developments on this trial.

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