Amy Locane-Bovenizer, who starred in "Melrose Place" as well as in film such as "Cry-Baby" and "Airheads," has been sentenced to three years in prison for vehicular homicide, stemming from a DUI crash that killed a woman in New Jersey.
Fred and Ford Seeman, the husband and son of the victim, Helene Seeman, expressed outrage in court after a judge issued the punishment on Thursday, February 14. Locane-Bovenizer, 41, was convicted of vehicular homicide in December and had faced a maximum sentence of 10 years behind bars.
The judge gave her a shorter one, citing the medical needs of her 4-year-old daughter Avery, who suffers from Crohn's disease, a digestive system ailment, and has a feeding tube in her nose. Fred called the shortened sentence a "travesty."
"Having a sick child doesn't ... give you a pass to kill my wife!" he said, as seen in a video posted on MyCentralNewJersey.com (Warning: Strong language). "Since when is having a sick child a pass? ... What were you thinking of, judge?
"This is not justice," Ford said, standing up from his seat in the courtroom.
Prosecutors said that in June 2010, the former actress had a blood-alcohol level nearly three times the legal limit when she crashed her 2007 Chevy Tahoe into a vehicle driven by Fred as he was trying to pull into a driveway in New Jersey. Helene was in the passenger's seat and was pronounced dead at the scene. (Check out more details about Amy Locane-Bovenizer's DUI case.)
During the sentencing, Fred also showed the judge a large photo of him with Helene, Ford and their other son and sobbed as he spoke about his late wife.
"God I loved her so much," he said.
AMY LOCANE-BOVENIZER's TEARFUL APOLOGY
Before the sentencing, Locane-Bovenizer gave a tearful apology to the family, reading from a written statement in court.
"I would like to say that I'm truly sorry for all of the pain and sorrow I have caused all of you," she said, sobbing, with her arms crossed. "I have never experienced this kind of pain. I have never cried tears like these. I am unsettled, I'm devastated, I'm hurt beyond belief."
"I do pledge to you that I will spend the rest of my life making sure that people understand the tragic effects of drinking and driving so that Helene Seeman will have not died in vain," she added. "I look for her in all things beautiful to help me bear the burden of taking her life. I pray that you will forgive me one day and I pray that God grants us all peace."
Locane-Bovenizer's and husband Mark, a wine educator and liquor store owner, are also parents to another daughter, Paige. The judge mentioned both of their girls before he handed down the prison sentence.
"This defendant has to live with the knowledge that she killed somebody," he said. "This defendant has to live on a daily basis knowing that her daughters, Avery and Paige, go to bed at night without their mother. This defendant will, on a nightly basis, while she sits in her jail cell -- and deservingly so, must know that her daughter Avery has to be held down by somebody else while the nasogastric tube is inserted."
"To be separated from a loved one by other than death is the second most significant punishment, at least under circumstances similar to these, that I can think of," he added.
Before her conviction in December, Locane-Bovenizer had faced a more serious charge of aggravated manslaughter, which would have carried a maximum punishment of 30 years in prison.
At Thursday's sentencing, Locane-Bovenizer was also ordered to pay more than $12,900 in fines, MyCentralNewJersey.com reported.
The former actress will be eligible for parole in about two and a half years. She has already spent 81 days in jail, which will be counted as time served. On Friday, February 15, Locane-Bovenizer was transferred from a county jail to a state prison, records show.
Locane-Bovenizer acted mostly in the 1990s. she played Sandy during the first season of the original "Melrose Place" primetime soap opera in 1992 (watch a video clip, courtesy of CBS). She also portrayed "good girl" Allison Vernon-Williams, who falls for "bad boy" Cry-Baby Walker, played by Depp, in the 1990 cult musical movie "Cry-Baby."
Locane-Bovenizer also co-starred with Brendan Fraser in the 1992 drama "School Ties" and in the 1994 rocker comedy film "Airheads" and played Maggie Gyllenhaal's character's sister in the 2002 movie "Secretary." Locane-Bovenizer's final major on-screen acting project was the 2005 SyFy TV movie "Alien Express."
(Pictured above: Fred Seeman and Amy Locane-Bovenizer appear in court in Somerville, New Jersey, during her sentencing on Feb. 14, 2013. / Credit: AP Photo / The Star-Ledger, Robert Sciarrino, Pool.)