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AG Kilmartin Announces Sentences for Two Individuals Charged with DUI Death Resulting

Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin announced sentences for two individuals charged in DUI death resulting cases in Woonsocket and South Kingstown.

Kilmartin announced that Peter Major (age 43) of Pawtucket was sentenced today before Superior Court Justice Netti C. Vogel for the July 2011 DUI crash that killed Suzanne Potter.

Major was sentenced to 15 years, with six to serve and the remainder suspended with probation. Of the six years to serve, Justice Vogel ordered three be served at the ACI and three on home confinement…In addition, Major also was sentenced to a $5000 fine, five year loss of license upon release, interlock for two years after getting his license back, alcohol and substance abuse counseling, and 250 hours of community service.

Early in the morning hours of July 1, 2011 Peter Major struck 46-year-old Suzanne Potter of Woonsocket as she was riding her bicycle near the corner of Bernon and Grove Streets in Woonsocket. After striking the victim, Major fled the scene of the accident. The Woonsocket Police issued a bulletin with the description of the vehicle, and Major was apprehended a short time later by Lincoln Police. Potter died more than a month later from the injuries she sustained as a result of the incident. Peter Major pled guilty on April 30th of this year and has been awaiting sentencing.

Assistant Attorney General and Traffic Safety Resource Prosecutor Jay Sullivan prosecuted the case on behalf of the Office of Attorney General.

Attorney General Kilmartin also announced that Zachary Kahan (age 24) of Cranston pleaded nolo contendere today before Superior Court Justice Melanie Thunberg for the September 8, 2012 DUI crash that killed 24 year old Tanya Chabot of Harrisville.

Kahan was sentenced to 10 years with 3 years to serve and the remainder suspended with probation. He was fined $5,000, ordered to complete alcohol counseling, pay restitution for medical expenses, and five year loss of license upon release from the ACI. The defendant went into the ACI immediately after the plea.

On September 8, 2012, the defendant and Ms. Chabot attended a wedding together. After the wedding, the defendant was traveling along Moonstone Beach Road in South Kingstown where his vehicle left the roadway and struck a telephone pole. Ms. Chabot died as a result of the trauma sustained in the crash. The defendant submitted to and failed three field sobriety tests, and later consented to a blood test that determined his blood alcohol content was .157 at the time of the crash.

"Simply put, drinking and driving kills. Each and every time someone gets behind the wheel while intoxicated, they are risking the life of others. It is frustrating and tragic that we continue to see individuals recklessly and criminally choose to drive drunk when it is so simple to simply put down the drink or hand over the keys to a designated, sober driver," said Attorney General Kilmartin.

Assistant Attorney General and Chief of the Washington County office Mark Trovato prosecuted the case on behalf of the Office of Attorney General.

Related links

Department or agency: Department of the Attorney General

Online: http://www.riag.ri.gov/

Release date: 07-30-2013

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