ATLANTA - The Georgia State Patrol trooper who was behind the wheel of the cruiser that killed a woman on New Year’s Eve 2011 has been sentenced to two years in prison and eight years of probation.
Trooper Donald Crozier pleaded guilty on Monday to vehicular homicide and reckless driving, and minutes before the trial was to begin, he pleaded guilty to violating his oath of office, moving the trial to the penalty phase.
Superior Court Judge Craig Schwall said the sentencing was gut-wrenching.
“And I’m sick to my stomach, but I’ve got to do it,” Schwall said.
On Dec. 31, 2011, Crozier sped through a red light with his siren on. He crashed into a car, killing Kathy Porter.
The state showed dash-cam video of a previously recording red-light crash that prosecutors said Crozier caused.
Channel 2’s Jeff Dore said the victim’s husband, Atlanta Braves athletic trainer Jeff Porter, struggled to hold back tears during court.
“He took an oath and he deliberately broke it more than once. The state of Georgia has laws and he broke them. Kathy paid with her life,” Jeff Porter said.
Crozier apologized in court.
“I’m sorry for the pain and suffering I have caused their family,” Crozier said.
While Crozier is on probation, the judge ordered him to work with other law enforcement officers at the state training center to help them understand the dangers and responsibilities of their jobs.