Maurice Smith of Patchogue, Long Island faces up to eight years behind bars following a guilty plea to vehicular manslaughter, among other charges. Smith was speeding on Route 78 in Bedminster, NJ last June when he collided with Paul Shelley, operating a motorcycle of his own. Shelley suffered major leg injuries. His passenger on the bike, Nicole Widener, was ejected and killed by a passing vehicle.
Sentencing for Smith is scheduled for March 8th. He could face a maximum sentence of eight years jail time. A conviction in criminal proceedings will, in most instances, force the insurance carrier for the guilty party to seriously consider settlement. Although many insurance policies have exclusions for criminal acts, the criminal conviction makes it apparent that their insured was at fault.