A Connecticut man has pleaded guilty following a drunken driving rampage which left a 4 -year-old girl dead. The plea was for first-degree manslaughter and operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol and drugs. It is expected to save him at least 10 years in prison, much to the dismay of the victim’s family.

On Aug. 10, 2010, shortly after 6 p.m., Jason Mattis, 24, was speeding south on Main Street in Hartford, when he slammed into the back the car driven by Deborah Gladden, who was waiting at a stop light. He was traveling at least 65 mph in a 25 zone, when the crash happened. The impact was so severe it threw Gladden’s niece, Lilliany, out of her booster seat. Lilliany died the next day.

Mattis fled the scene, leaving a trail of wrecked cars and injured people before being stopped after ramming a parked car and utility pole. He ran from his vehicle and fought police officers as they tried to capture him. After his arrest, Mattis told police he was high on PCP, and tests found he had a blood alcohol content of .28, more than three times the legal limit.

Lillany’s mother, Cynthia Gladden, appeared in court with more than a dozen family members. She read a statement to voice her disagreement with the plea bargain. Gladden felt the driver deserved the maximum penalty for the death of her daughter, but the deal may shave 10 years off possible 20 years in prison.

“He deserves more, and my daughter deserves justice,” Gladden said outside the courtroom.

Regardless of how they are treated by the criminal system, if someone’s negligent or reckless actions have caused the death of a loved one, you can seek justice through a wrongful death lawsuit.

At Berkowitz and Hanna LLC, we believe those responsible for serious injuries and death should be held accountable for their actions. Our attorneys are committed to providing dedicated and compassionate legal representation for those affected by wrongful death.