Former Patriot Brandon Spikes pleads guilty in hit-and-run crash
Former Patriot gets probation
Former New England Patriots linebacker Brandon Spikes was sentenced to a year of probation after pleading guilty on Wednesday in a hit-and-run crash that injured three people last month on Interstate 495.
According to Norfolk District Attorney Michael Morrissey’s office, Spikes appeared in Wrentham District Court where he admitted to leaving the scene of the Foxborough collision in the early hours of June 7. Spikes will be on probation for one year and will lose his right to drive for one year, officials said.
“He is sorry that all of this had to happen,’’ Christopher P. Belezos, Spikes’ lawyer said in a telephone interview. “It was an error in judgment.’’
State Police found Spikes’ Mercedes-Benz Maybach, damaged and abandoned, around the same time investigators were called to the scene of a Nissan Murano that had been rear-ended by a vehicle that fled the scene. The occupants of the Nissan were hospitalized with minor injuries.
Belezos said Spikes panicked, but did not leave to avoid being prosecuted for operating under the influence of alcohol or drugs. “There was no indication of him being drunk, no indication of any drugs at all. It was a ill-considered decision,’’ Belezos said.
He said Spikes was picked up by a “good Samaritan’’ from the interstate, but he would not elaborate. He said Spikes was driving by himself at the time of the crash.
Following the crash, Spikes was cut by the Patriots.
Belezos said Spikes hopes that by acknowledging his mistake in court, he will now be able to restart his professional football career. “He has taken responsibility and certainly we hope it’s a step in that direction’’ of restarting his career, he said.
Authorities said Spikes had initially reported to a roadside assistance operator that he hit a deer.
According to Morrissey’s office, Spikes had charges of negligent operation and operating an uninsured vehicle continued without a finding for one year. That designation means that Spikes could avoid conviction on those counts if he doesn’t get in trouble again.
Spikes was also fined for the civil offenses of speeding and marked lanes violation, officials said.
Sheida Foroutani was driving the Murano accompanied by her husband, Sam Lashgari, and their severely autistic child at the time of the crash.
Their lawyer, Marc L. Breakstone, said Wednesday that his clients applaud the fact that Spikes was held responsible for his actions through his guilty plea, but also believe he should have been given a more serious sanction than one year’s probation.
“They feel the penalty is light considering the conduct, considering that he drove a vehicle without insurance in Massachusetts, considering that he struck them at a ridiculously high speed on the highway without his headlights on, could have killed them, and then fled the scene to evade capture for whatever else was going on with him at the time,’’ Breakstone said.
Breakstone said the husband has completed treatment, but the wife continues to receive treatment and has become reluctant to drive by herself after nightfall.
“This was a frightening experience for them that continues to haunt them,’’ Breakstone said.
Still, Breakstone said that because Spikes was driving without any type of insurance, he is “judgment proof’’ and a civil lawsuit is not forthcoming. “He has no insurance,” Breakstone said. “So all we could ever hope for would be a paper judgment that has no force of law. He is a study in irresponsible behavior.’’