Driver requests sentence reduction

October 10, 2012

WILKES-BARRE – A woman sentenced in September on charges filed after a fatal hit-and-run in June 2011 wants her four-to-eight-year prison term reduced.

Karen McCann, 34, of Wilkes-Barre, was sentenced on homicide by vehicle while driving under the influence and other offenses following the accident that killed 63-year-old landscaper Aloysius McLaughlin. In court papers filed Tuesday through her newly appointed attorney, Demetrius Fannick, McCann asked that the prison term be reduced because the sentence handed down by Judge William Amesbury did not coincide with her understanding of the plea agreement she entered.

Fannick wrote in his filing McCann was not properly advised by her then-attorney, Peter Moses, of the sentencing guidelines Amesbury must follow.

McCann would not have gone forward with the sentencing hearing if she knew she faced the four-to-eight-year sentence, court papers say.

Court papers also indicate McCann wished to call witnesses on her behalf to testify, but that Moses did not present them.

McCann and Moses were the only people to testify on McCann's behalf at the sentencing. A judge has not yet ruled on McCann's request.

Prosecutors say McLaughlin was working as a landscaper in front of a home at 173 Third Ave., Kingston, at the time of the incident.

Police said McCann was driving a Chevrolet Trailblazer that struck McLaughlin. He later died at a hospital of multiple traumatic injuries, according to prosecutors.

Prosecutors said McCann had cocaine and prescription medications in her system at the time.

A co-worker of McLaughlin's said he saw the vehicle strike McLaughlin, and he ran after the SUV, attempting to have McCann stop. She was stopped by police shortly afterward.