The man found guilty of multiple charges in the death of a 44-year-old Massachusetts State Police trooper learned his fate on Thursday afternoon.
David Njuguna, of Webster, was sentenced to 5-7 years in prison in the crash that killed Trooper Thomas Clardy on the Massachusetts Turnpike in Charlton on March 16, 2016.
Njuguna was found guilty last week in Worcester Superior Court of involuntary manslaughter, motor vehicle homicide, driving an uninsured vehicle and driving to endanger in the crash.
Several victim impact statements were read before Judge Janet Kenton-Walker sentenced Njuguna. One of those statements was from Clardy's widow, Reisa.
"The emotional, mental and physical toll from the loss of my husband stays with us everyday. It will continue with us for the rest of our lives," Reisa Clardy said. "Our children have gone through a loss no child should ever have to endure."
She added that she agreed with the recommended 10 to 12 year sentence for Njuguna.
A few of Clardy's seven children read statements as well.
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"I was 14 years old when I lost my father and it haunts me everyday," Gabriella Clardy read, before crying.
Written statements were also submitted from Clardy's youngest son Noah, his daughter Lily and his brother.
Prosecutors alleged Njuguna was driving high on marijuana at the time of the crash, but he was found not guilty of OUI. Kenton-Walker said that despite Njuguna’s reckless driving, his demeanor was not consistent with that of someone high on marijuana.
One of Njuguna's attorney's Peter Ettenberg, offered his condolence to the Clardy family and state police before offering his recommendation on sentencing.
"Does his 3 1/2 years equal the death of Thomas Clardy? Actually the sentencing guidelines says it does," Ettenberg said.
Ettenberg added that Njuguna had goals and dreams but that everything changed the day of the crash.
"He's a good person who did a bad thing. Nothing is going to make up for Tom Clardy's death, not 10-12 years, not 3 ½ to 5," Ettenberg said.
Njuguna was given credit for 3 ½ years served, so he will likely only serve another 1 ½-3 ½ years behind bars.
Col. Christopher Mason, Superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police, released a statement after the sentencing.
"This loss can never be restored, and everyone who loved or worked with Tom would prefer that the law allow for a sentence much more commensurate with the taking of a life under these circumstances. Nonetheless we are aware of the sentencing guidelines prescribed by the law and we are grateful for the court’s consideration of the severity of this offense. As we move forward, we continue to look toward and be guided by Tom’s example as a family man and a Massachusetts State Trooper, and our thoughts and hearts are, as ever, with his loved ones."