• Vt teen gets two years in prison for fatal crash
     | August 29,2013

    COLCHESTER — A teenager has been sentenced to a little over two years in prison after pleading guilty to a drunken driving crash that killed his passenger last year.

    James Companion, 17, of St. Albans, had pleaded guilty to one count of driving under the influence with death resulting.

    He was driving on May 25, 2012, when the car crashed into a utility pole and burst into flames, killing his passenger, 25-year-old Tasha Maring, of Colchester.

    “I am truly sorry for what I did,” Companion said at his sentencing Tuesday.

    If he had been tried and convicted, he could have faced one to 15 years in prison.

    Maring’s mother, Catherine Raymond, told the judge her daughter was a hardworking mother of a 7-year-old boy. She criticized those at the party who either permitted or encouraged Companion to drink, according to the Burlington Free Press.

    “I feel sorry for him,” she said. “He was 16 years old, had to see this whole incident. Had he had not been brought to this gathering, with all these adults, this wouldn’t have occurred. He needs counseling in order to be able to go somewhere in his life. And if nobody else wants to help him, I want to help him.”

    Prosecutors also have charged Companion’s mother, Melissa Grant, of St. Albans, with buying her son the alcohol he drank that night. She has pleaded not guilty and awaits trial.

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