Posted at: 01/09/2013 1:25 AM
Updated at: 01/09/2013 5:55 PM
By: Nikki Rudd
An Irondequoit chiropractor is headed to prison after killing a Greece couple in a drunk-driving crash.
Wednesday morning, Dr. Stephen Divito was sentenced to five to 15 years in his fourth drunk-driving related conviction. He previously pleaded guilty to vehicular manslaughter, vehicular assault, leaving the scene of an accident and DWI.
Divito has a history of DWI. He admitted to driving drunk and leaving the scene of the crash on the Parkway in November 2011 that killed Jim and Pat DePinto of Greece.
The DePintos were out for a drive to go apple picking when they pulled out onto the Ontario State Parkway and got hit by a speeding SUV driven by Divito. His vehicle’s black box shows he was going up to 85 miles per hour when he hit the DePintos. He didn’t stop until he crashed his SUV about a mile away.
In court, Divito apologized. He said, “I knew this was wrong and I did it anyway. I caused this. I'm responsible.”
The prosecution believes Divito will have to serve at least seven or eight years of the five to 15-year sentence.
The courtroom was filled with family and friends on both sides. Family members of the victims spoke at the sentencing. Pat DePinto’s brother called Divito an intoxicated killer and said we don’t take drunk-driving cases seriously enough.
News10NBC asked Assistant District Attorney Raymond Benitez in light of this being Divito’s fourth drunk-driving related conviction, what can be done and why was he still on the streets? “I don't think the system failed necessarily. I think he made conscious decisions to do what he did.”
But Divito's attorney, Ed Fiandach, says the system did fail us. He says his client should have gotten better treated for alcoholism after being convicted three times before in drunk driving related cases. “Nobody ever said, ‘Hey wait a minute, this guy needs more treatment. There’s a problem here’ and it led to absolutely zero change in his lifestyle.”
The prosecution says no laws or treatment can keep some criminals from re-offending. Benitez said, “We got to stop putting crutches in these peoples, individuals hands and saying the system must of failed them because they're repeat offenders. That's not the case.”
Judge Winslow made it clear in court telling Divito the blood is on no one’s hands but yours, you are responsible.
The DePinto family hopes this story will cause people to think twice before they drink and drive.