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'Melrose Place' actress guilty of vehicular homicide in N.J. crash

November 27, 2012|By Christie D'Zurilla
  • Former "Melrose Place" actress Amy Locane-Bovenizer, 40, is taken into custody after jurors in Somerville, N.J., convicted her of vehicular homicide. At left is her attorney Ellen Torregrossa-O'Connor.
Former "Melrose Place" actress Amy Locane-Bovenizer, 40,… (Robert Sciarrino / Newark…)

Amy Locane-Bovenizer, the "Melrose Place" actress who played Sandy to Grant Show's Jake in the first season of the original series, was found guilty Tuesday of vehicular homicide related to a June 2010 accident that left a 60-year-old woman dead in central New Jersey.

The conviction on that charge and a separate one of assault by auto capped a trial that ran about a month and a half and saw some 50 people take the stand. Locane-Bovenizer was not one of them.

According to the prosecution, the community-theater actress was drinking at a cast party and then later at a barbecue she attended with her family before hitting the road alone in her SUV.

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Prosecutors said the actress had a blood alcohol level nearly three times the legal limit and was traveling 53 mph in a 35-mph zone when her SUV slammed into a sedan that was turning left, the New Jersey Star-Ledger reported.

Killed in the accident was passenger Helene Seeman. Her husband, driver Fred Seeman, was seriously hurt, spurring the assault-by-auto charge.

While the defense admitted Locane-Bovenizer was under the influence, it argued that she should not be held criminally liable in the crash. She was speeding because she was being pursued by a woman she'd just rear-ended, the defense argued, and hit the sedan in part because its driver was taking the left turn very slowly.

Maureen Ruckelshaus, the driver of the rear-ended vehicle, testified that she'd tried to get Locane-Bovenizer to turn off her SUV after their collision.

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"I knew how drunk she was," Ruckelshaus testified. "My reaction was, 'Oh, my God, I have to figure out a way to get her to pull over.'" She followed Locane-Bovenizer for about four miles, according to evidence presented at trial, doing around the speed limit until a car in front of them moved over and the actress accelerated.

Locane-Bovenizer was taken into custody after her bail was revoked. The mother of two faces five to 10 years in prison on the vehicular homicide count and three to five on the assault by auto. She must serve at least 85% of her sentence before she's eligible for parole, according to the Star-Ledger, and the sentences might run consecutively.

Locane-Bovenizer was acquitted of aggravated manslaughter, a more serious charge. Sentencing is set for March 1.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

ALSO:

'Melrose Place' actress Amy Locane charged with vehicular homicide

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