A Hamburg mother’s persistence paid off Thursday as the drunken driver who killed her 14-year-old daughter was sentenced to state prison – more than two years after the fatal crash and after he had twice been placed on probation in the case.
Alice Keim took the initiative that led to three to nine years in prison for Bradley Maloney.
The 21-year-old Blasdell man was sentenced in connection with the high-speed crash Jan. 28, 2012, on the Seneca Nation Cattaraugus Reservation that killed Angela Keim, one of his three teenage passengers.
The grieving mother and her husband, George Kuntz, felt that Maloney should have been sentenced to prison back in 2012 after he pleaded guilty and got a six-month jail term followed by five years’ probation.
After he violated his probation last year, they hoped that his probation would be revoked and he would get prison time, but he was resentenced in January to probation.
After he violated his probation a second time earlier this year by drinking at a bar downstairs from his new apartment and failing to tell his probation officer he had moved, he finally got what the family had been seeking.
Alice Keim played a big role in discovering Maloney’s latest probation violation and pursuing the case against him.
She said someone called her a few months ago and told her Maloney was drinking in the first-floor bar in his apartment building.
She said she went to the bar and talked to the manager, who confirmed that Maloney had been drinking there. She said the manager then informed the Probation Department.
As a result, Maloney was charged with violating the conditions of his probation by consuming alcohol and moving to a new address without informing probation.
He pleaded guilty last month to the violation and was resentenced Thursday in Erie County Court.
“It’s been 2½ years,” Keim said outside the courtroom. “Me being a mother led to what happened today.”
Her husband said the family are still coping with Angela’s death.
“Everybody thinks things get better” with the passing of time, he said, but that hasn’t happened.
“We’ll see if this brings some closure,” he said. “We don’t want anybody to go through what we’ve gone through. It’s never going to go away.”
Kuntz added that the family had been concerned that Maloney would go out drinking and kill someone else while he was on probation.
The 2012 crash threw Angela and two other Hamburg girls, all sitting in the back seat, from the car. Elizabeth Szewczyk, who was 13 at the time, suffered critical injuries. Summer Locking, who was 16, was less seriously injured.
At Thursday’s resentencing, Maloney’s attorney, Mark Worrell, told Judge Michael F. Pietruszka that Maloney moved to the new apartment so he could play his music without disturbing his neighbors, who had complained about it at his previous residence.
The attorney said his client did not move there because of the first-floor bar, but he admitted that Maloney did drink there when he was having a bad day.
He told the judge that Maloney never got behind the wheel after drinking because of what happened the last time he drank and drove.
He asked for the minimum prison sentence of one to three years.
Assistant District Attorney Kelley Omel requested the maximum sentence of five to 15 years, noting that this was Maloney’s second probation violation in the case.
The first occurred last year when Maloney attended a party where alcohol was being served, stayed out after his curfew and missed several counseling sessions.
Maloney apologized to the judge Thursday for not following the conditions of his probation.
The judge then revoked his probation and resentenced him to prison terms of three to nine years for first-degree vehicular manslaughter, two to six years for first-degree vehicular assault and one to three years for second-degree vehicular assault.
He also gave him 12 months in the Erie County Correctional Facility for DWI.
The judge ordered the sentences to run concurrently.
Maloney had pleaded guilty to the charges in 2012.