The man accused of driving into a Massachusetts pizza shop, killing two people and injuring seven others, was found guilty on all charges Monday.
Brad Casler, 56, was charged with two counts of motor vehicle homicide and one count of negligent operation for the fatal March 2016 crash at a Sweet Tomatoes restaurant in Newton. Eleanor Miele, 57, and Gregory Morin, 32, were killed when Casler's car plowed into the eatery.
“It’s been 2 1/2 years and it's time for this to be over," said Morin's wife, Erica Miller. "We are happy that it's over, but we still have lost our people."
The verdict was handed down shortly after 2 p.m. Monday after two days of deliberations. Casler faces up to seven years behind bars and is scheduled to be sentenced on Nov. 20. He will be held without bail until that time.
Jury Deliberations Resume in Sweet Tomatoes Trial
Casler's attorney had argued during the trial that his client's multiple sclerosis was to blame for the crash, but prosecutors questioned why he was behind the wheel in the first place.
"His cognitive deficiencies caused him to lose control of that vehicle," said Tom Giblin, Casler's lawyer.
Casler testified last week about how multiple sclerosis regularly affects him with dizziness, tingling, cognitive issues and "brain fog." He was diagnosed in 1996 and calls the disease "unpredictable."
Prosecutors accused Casler of panicking after he was driving too fast. They said he told first responders at the scene that he didn't have an episode related to his multiple sclerosis.
"Eleanor Miele, Gregory Morin all suffered the consequences of the defendant's choice to drive a car," Assistant District Attorney Chris Tarrant said. "It wasn't multiple sclerosis. It was Brad Casler."
Earlier in the trial, Meriam Saim, an EMT who treated Casler, testified he told her that he didn't believe that his multiple sclerosis played a role in the crash.
Deliberations Resume for Brad Casler
"I asked if he thought that the multiple sclerosis may have played a role in the accident if he believed that he had a flare of sorts," said Saim. "He said, 'No.'"
Casler had rejected a plea deal that would have sent him to jail for two years.