SOMERVILLE, N.J. - Amy Locane-Bovenizer, a former “Melrose Place” actress, has been found guilty of vehicular homicide after her drunk ass killed a woman by ramming her SUV into the side of another vehicle.
Back in June 2010, Locane-Bovenizer had tossed back some drinks at a cast party before tossing down a few more at a barbeque. She then chose to get behind the wheel of an SUV with a blood alcohol level more than three times the legal limit and wound up rear-ending Maureen Ruckelshaus.
Ruckelshaus confronted Locane-Bovenizer, who she says was obviously drunk, and asked her to get out of her vehicle she refused to turn off. Locane-Bovenizer responded to this request by fleeing the scene and taking out a few mailboxes in the process. Ruckelshaus gave followed behind Locane-Bovenizer for four miles at speeds that topped a whopping 35 mph.
But Locane-Bovenizer saw her chance to put some distance between herself and Ruckelshaus after the car in front of her moved out of the way. That’s when Locane-Bovenizer accelerated to 50 mph and ended up plowing into the passenger side of a car turning left into a driveway.
The driver of that car, Fred Seeman, was seriously injured but would survive. His wife, 60-year-old Helene Seeman, was in the passenger side and took the brunt of the impact. She would be pronounced dead at the scene. As is usually the case with drunk drivers, Locane-Bovenizer was not seriously injured, only suffering a scratch on her foot.
Locane-Bovenizer would end up facing 35 years in prison after being indicted on manslaughter and assault-by-automobile charges and the prosecution vowed to match the same amount of money Locane-Bovenizer planned on spending on her defense.
In order to get a conviction on the charges they filed against her, the prosecution would have to prove that Locane-Bovenizer caused Seeman’s death under circumstances that showed extreme indifference to human life and by acting recklessly. Her trial started in October and 50 witnesses would be brought to the stand.
Witnesses testified that while Mr Seeman watched his wife die, Locane-Bovenizer was giggling in a nearby drainage ditch. One officer testified that after they had taken a blood sample from the actress, she said, “Am I pregnant or am I just drunk?” Hours later, Locane-Bovenizer would urinate in her hospital bed and ramble incoherently — seemingly unaware of what she had done.
The jury didn’t feel there was enough to convict Locane-Bovenizer on manslaughter charges, but showed they did not buy the defenses allegations that Mrs Seeman’s death fell squarely on Ruckelshaus’ shoulders for chasing after Locane-Bovenizer, when they found her guilty of the lesser charge of vehicular manslaughter and assault by automobile. Her bond was immediately revoked and she was placed in custody after the verdict was read.
The mother of two is now facing five to 10 years in prison on the vehicular homicide charge and three to five years in prison on the assault charge. Which is better than nothing, I suppose. Had this happened in LA, the actress would have gotten time served and her own reality show.