WEST SPRINGFIELD — The state Appeals Court has upheld the 2013 conviction of Daniel Leary for motor vehicle homicide by reckless or negligent operation while under the influence of alcohol.
David Laduzenski, 29, a Somerville resident and West Springfield native, was home visiting family and friends when he was hit while standing in a friend’s driveway on March 25, 2011.
Leary, of Southwick, was found guilty by a jury and sentenced by a judge to five to seven years in state prison.
In its decision released Friday, the court rejected all arguments the defense said should cause the conviction to be overturned.
Hampden District Attorney Anthony D. Gulluni said the court ruling “is the result of the dedicated work of Assistant District Attorney Amal Bala, of my office’s Appeals Unit.”
“This was a tragic case and we are pleased that the conviction and sentence remain unchanged. My sympathy continues to be with the victim’s family,” Gulluni said.
Barbara Munro, appeals lawyer for Leary, claimed the closing argument of then-Hampden District Attorney Mark G. Mastroianni was improper for three reasons.
According to the court decision, the appeals lawyer claimed Mastroianni improperly injected his personal beliefs into the case, improperly vouched for the credibility of a police officer and improperly appealed to the jury’s sympathies.
There were other issues raised in the defense appeal, but none were considered by the court as grounds for overturning the verdict.