Justice Ann Murray accepted a no-contest plea from Kimberly Phelan, 30, on a charge of Aggravated Criminal Operating Under the Influence on Friday, September 6. Phelan was operating a vehicle on September 15, 2012, when she struck her boyfriend, Andrew Ray, 31. Ray died later that day.
Phelan will serve 18 months of an eight-year sentence in prison, with three years of probation. She will also pay a $2,100 fine.
District Attorney Carla Bassano reviewed the state’s case against Phelan. Phelan and Ray had argued after a night of drinking and smoking marijuana, and Phelan drove off in a 2003 Pontiac Aztek, leaving Ray on Water Street in Blue Hill in the early hours of September 15, 2012. Phelan returned in the vehicle and the argument continued. According to the state, Ray grabbed hold of the window, which was broken by his weight when Phelan moved the car. Ray then ended up underneath the car, where he sustained injuries.
Phelan’s attorney, Steven Juskewitch, said there was some question about whether Ray punched the window. Bassano said the evidence on the scene indicated otherwise. Bassano said two witnesses saw the vehicle back up and then move forward.
Bassano said Phelan’s blood alcohol was .15 percent. The legal limit is .08 percent.
Lori Ray, Andrew Ray’s mother, spoke during the comment period prior to Murray’s sentencing of Phelan.
“My son Andrew was a good man,” said Ray. “Every day feels like yesterday when the officer knocked on my door and asked me if I had a son named Andrew Ray. It’s not getting easier, yet.”
Freya Hartmann, mother of Andrew Ray’s son, also spoke. “Andrew was kind to his soul and what he loved most was his son,” she said.
After hearing from Ray and Hartmann, Murray heard closing statements from Juskewitch and Bassano. Bassano recommended an eight-year sentence with all but 18 months suspended, and three years of probation.
Juskewitch argued that, given the substance abuse problems present in the situation, suspending all but one year would be a reasonable sentence. “Kim is 30 years old and has a son,” he continued.
Phelan also spoke during the sentencing phase. “I just wanted to say I loved Andrew, and I love Andrew’s family, and I love my family.” She also spoke about if “either of our active addictions had been addressed sooner,” the situation might have been avoided.
“There’s no sentence I can give that will bring Andrew back,” said Murray. “Andrew was clearly a much-loved community member, son and father.” Murray then accepted the state’s plea arrangement.
The conditions of Phelan’s probation include no use or possession of alcohol, substance abuse treatment, no contact with Stephen Ray, Lori Ray, Colby Welch or Tyler Ray, and a 10-year driving license suspension.