On Thursday, May 21, a 41-year-old man who pleaded guilty to two counts of driving under the influence resulting in the death of a Virginia man and woman in August 2008 received a prison sentence of up to 20 years.
On February 17, Troy S. Bean was indicted on two counts of DUI resulting in death, one count of DUI resulting in injury, one count of second offense DUI, and one count of driving on a revoked license from a prior DUI.
Bean pleaded guilty to all five counts with an Alford plea, meaning he pleaded guilty despite not remembering all the circumstances surrounding the incidents. According to 23rd Judicial Circuit Court Judge Gina Groh, he admitted to the crimes because he believed the state had enough evidence to prove he committed them.
Bean said that when he awoke in the hospital three days after the incident, he was unable to recall any of the incidents surrounding the deaths and was unaware of what had happened.
On August 14, 2008, the Ford pickup truck Bean was driving collided head-on with the station wagon of 80-year-old Howard Diamond and 70-year-old Nancy Diamond on Interstate 81. Both were pronounced dead at the scene.
After a police investigation, it was determined that Bean’s truck and a Nissan Altima were both northbound on I-81 when the Ford sideswiped the Nissan, sending both into the southbound lanes.
The Nissan came to rest in a lane that had been closed for construction, but Bean’s truck struck the station wagon head-on.
Bean was taken to the hospital and treated for several severe injuries, including a collapsed lung. It was reported that his blood-alcohol content was 0.214, nearly three times the legal limit of 0.08.
Lonn Stevenson, the driver of the Nissan, received hospital transport and was treated for back pain.
Bean addressed the nearly 15 members of the Diamonds’ family at the sentencing, saying “I’d like to apologize to the family. I wish it would have been me, but it certainly wasn’t.”
Groh said that Bean appeared remorseful and visibly moved by the family’s comments. She added that during her time as a prosecutor, she only saw one defendant in her cases take full responsibility for every count of the indictment as Bean had.
However, Groh said that Bean chose to drive a vehicle without a license after consuming alcohol.
Bean was sentenced to no less than two and no more than 10 years in prison and a $1,000 fine for each count of DUI resulting in death, one year in prison and a $1,000 fine for second offense DUI, one year in prison and a $200 fine for DUI with injury, and six months in prison and a $100 fine for driving on a revoked license. Each sentence is to be served consecutively. He is also required to pay $16,106.50 in restitution.