FONDA, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Emotions ran high at the Montgomery County Court as Gary Blakley was sentenced to 3 ½ years in prison and two years of post-supervision.
The judge called it a “tragedy from the get go”
Memories of the deadly accident that killed Trooper David Cunniff on a cold December night of 2013 have been engraved in Gary Blakley’s head, who’s now suffering from anxiety because of it.
I truly believe you are remorseful and I know you’re taking this very, very difficultly in coming into this courtroom with a very heavy heart,” the judge said.
According to the indictment, Blakley was driving his tractor trailer for more than 14 hours that night and his log books were out of date.
Blakley sat quietly in his chair, looking down on his legs when his charges were read aloud to him, finding it tough to look at David Cunniff’s wife in the eye.
“Finally I want you to be able to forgive yourself. I do not want you to live in a self-imposed prison of guilt for the rest of your life, and neither will Dave,” said Amy Cunniff, David Cunniff’s wife.
Blakley pleaded guilty to his seven charges, some of which include aggravated criminally negligent homicide and second degree aggravated manslaughter. As he signed the papers, agreeing to his sentence, the judge had one last message for him before he left.
“I want to reiterate the words that Ms. Cunniff indicated here how she’s not angry with you. She’s not upset with you,” said the judge.
Upset or not, Blakley’s family watched him walk away in handcuffs, feeling like they lost a family member of their own… except to prison.
“We’re so sorry that this accident happened,” said Carlie Beach, Gary Blakley’s second daughter.
Even with Trooper Cunniff’s passing, memories of him still live on at his memorial at the State Police Barracks in Fultonville.