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Brittini Benton of Sunderland sentenced to prison in motor vehicle death of UMass student

A Sunderland woman who was convicted of killing a University of Massachusetts student with her car has been sentenced to five to seven years in state prison.

Brittini Benton, 25, of 118 Reservation Road, struck and killed Daniel Haley on April 14, 2012, on Route 116 in Hadley.

Haley, 24, was riding his motorcycle on a return trip to Amherst from his native Pittsfield. He was scheduled to have graduated from the UMass chemical engineering program in May.

Benton pleaded guilty in Hampshire Superior Court in May to motor vehicle homicide while operating under the influence of alcohol, negligent operation of a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol causing severe injury, and negligent operation of a motor vehicle.

At that hearing Benton entered a so-called Alford plea, meaning she did not admit guilt but acknowledged the state had enough evidence for a conviction.

Benton was originally scheduled for sentencing in June, but that hearing was delayed to allow her time to recover after childbirth.

Benton was sentenced Sept. 13 in Franklin Superior Court to accommodate the schedule of Judge Bertha Josephson, who presided over the case.

After the completion of her sentence at the Cedar Junction Correctional Institution in Walpole, Benton will serve five years of probation. During that time she must avoid drugs and alcohol and submit to random screenings, get and maintain a job, pay restitution in an amount to be determined and attend counseling.

Bob Dunn can be reached at bdunn@gazettenet.com.

Should have been more time.

Justice has been served. Sort of. http://onlyintherepublicofamherst.blogspot.com/2012/11/killer-on-road.html

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