A Morris County jury recently convicted a Dover, NJ, resident in connection with the April 2006 deaths of two teenage girls. As a result of the guilty verdict for aggravated manslaughter, the defendant Eugene Baum, Jr. could be looking at a maximum of 60 years in prison for the fatal drunk driving-related accident.
As a New Jersey DWI defense attorney, my law firm handles cases not unlike this one on a regular basis. Because of the facts in the case, it’s not surprising that the prosecutors would be seeking the maximum sentence of 60 years in jail for the defendant. According to news reports, the accident occurred in Kinnelon, NJ, on April 20, 2006, when Baum ran over the two cousins while operating his vehicle in an apparent drunken stupor.
News articles stated that the jury deliberated for three hours before declaring the 48-year-old Dover resident guilty of two counts each of aggravated manslaughter and death-by-auto. Following the guilty verdict, the Morris County Prosecutor said his office would seek a 60-year sentence — 30 years apiece for the aggravated manslaughters. The accident took the lives of 16-year-old Athear Jafar and 15-year-old Mayada Jafar.
In order to attain an guilty verdict on the counts of aggravated manslaughter, Morris County prosecutors had to prove that Baum was not only reckless but acted ”under circumstances that manifested an extreme indifference to the value of human life.” They also had to find there was a probability that death would occur by his conduct. For jurors to find the defendant guilty of the death-by-auto charges, which carry punishment of up to 10 years in prison, they had to decide if Baum acted recklessly.
According to police, Baum’s blood-alcohol content following the accident was 0.305 percent, or nearly four times the legal limit of 0.08 percent. Court records show that the man drove while intoxicated on vodka nearly 15 miles from his home in Dover and struck the girls from behind as they walked on the shoulder of the road. He never used his brakes, according to court documents.
Dover man convicted in teens’ DWI deaths, faces 60 years in prison, DailyRecord.com, February 19, 2010