Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Judge: MySpace post shows lack of remorse in DUI Death

CLEARWATER — Four months after he drove drunk, crashed into a tree and killed his friend, Joseph Edward Eagan drank at a Halloween party and posted party photos on his MySpace page.

On Tuesday, that act outweighed Eagan's sobbing plea for leniency last month.

"That is not a record of remorse," Pinellas-Pasco Circuit Judge Nancy Moate Ley said.

And with that, Ley sentenced Eagan to 10 years and four months in prison for driving under the influence manslaughter in the death of 21-year-old Andrew Garcia.

Garcia, who lived in Palm Harbor, was a popular St. Petersburg College student whose funeral was attended by hundreds.

Eagan and Garcia spent the evening of June 1, 2006, at the Innisbrook Resort. After midnight, Eagan got behind the wheel of a 2001 Acura Integra with Garcia in the passenger's seat.

As Eagan headed south on Mill Pond Road, he lost control of the car and crashed into a tree.

His blood-alcohol level was 0.14 percent, nearly twice the level at which Florida law presumes a driver to be impaired.

During a court hearing in January, attorney George Tragos asked Ley for a lighter sentence than the 10 years recommended by state guidelines.

Besides the remorse, Tragos argued that the crime was an isolated incident committed in an unsophisticated manner. But Ley said she thought Eagan was tearful primarily because he was terrified to go to prison.

On Tuesday, Eagan's family showed Ley a newspaper article about a different case in which drunken driver Richard Abramowicz killed a bicyclist in St. Petersburg and fled. Last month, Abramowicz, 26, got five years in prison and 10 years of probation.

In response, Ley said she did not know what negotiations had occurred in the other case.

"I feel no joy in sentencing him to prison, but he had the burden of (proving) remorse," she said.

Eagan had been free on his own recognizance pending sentencing. As deputies led him away, he turned his head to his family. His mother, Pamela Eagan, wept loudly.

Outside in the courthouse hallway, surrounded by family and friends, Garcia's mother and sister, Rose and Melissa Athas, also wept loudly.

Jose Cardenas can be reached at jcardenas@sptimes.com or (727) 445-4224.

Judge: MySpace post shows lack of remorse in DUI Death 02/26/08 [Last modified: Tuesday, February 26, 2008 8:03pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Senate Obamacare effort dies; Rubio in favor of repeal, Nelson against

    Blogs

    WASHINGTON - The Senate Republican effort to Obamacare failed early Friday, with John McCain providing a decisive vote.

    The Senate vote
  2. Senate ponders health care bill it doesn't want to be law

    National

    Buoyed by a signal from House Speaker Paul Ryan, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell introduced a pared-down health care bill late Thursday that he hoped would keep alive Republican ambitions to repeal Obamacare.

    Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., left, and Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., expressed concerns about passing the “skinny repeal” of Obamacare without assurances of further negotiations.
  3. Arrest made in shooting death of 19-year-old found in lot

    News

    A 20-year-old Tampa man was arrested Thursday night for the shooting death of a 19-year-old whose body was discovered in a vacant lot on Tuesday.

  4. Rays fall to Yankees in 11 on Brett Gardner homer (w/ video)

    The Heater

    NEW YORK — The front office did its part Thursday, making two trades to bolster the roster in a push for the playoffs. But the Rays didn't follow up in a frustrating 6-5 11-inning loss to the Yankees.

    Rays reliever Andrew Kittredge stands on the mound and can only watch as the Yankees’ Brett Gardner starts to circle the bases after his walkoff home run leading off the 11th inning.
  5. Believe it! Rays are buyers, trade for reliever Dan Jennings and 1B/DH Lucas Duda

    The Heater

    NEW YORK — Dan Jennings' ability to render lefty hitters useless with a sinker that gets beaten into the ground and Lucas Duda's power to blast baseballs off and over outfield walls should make the Rays better.

    Lucas Duda