NEWBURYPORT — A Newburyport mother expressed gratitude over a court decision this week that kept in jail the man who ran down and killed her daughter.
Newburyport resident William White was jailed for 21/2 years for the death of 16-year-old Trista Zinck, who was walking home with her boyfriend, 19-year-old Neil Bornstein, in the early evening hours of Jan. 7, 2003, when White's Chevy Blazer veered out of control and hit the two. White fled the scene, but police later found him and discovered 30 empty beer cans in his car, along with two marijuana pipes.
White was released on the condition that he remain drug- and alcohol-free, but he was seen drinking an oversized beer at a Seabrook bar by a classmate of Zinck. Judge David Lowy sent him back to prison to serve five to seven years; White appealed. This week, an appeals court backed Lowy's decision, striking down White's arguments that Lowy wrongfully punished him for his lack of remorse in the incident.
"I'm glad that they stayed," said Mary Zinck, Trista's mother. "I'm glad they stuck to the decision and weren't swayed by his attorney's words."
Lowy's personal comments on the case formed the basis of White's appeal, but the appeals court upheld the applicable nature of Lowy's statements and argument.
"(White) contends that the judge considered improper factors in sentencing him to state prison," wrote Elin Graydon of the Eastern District Attorney's Office Appeals Division. "In particular, by referring to the defendant's failure to accept responsibility, the defendant contends that the judge was punishing the defendant for a lack of remorse."
The court affirmed White's assertion, but ruled that Lowy's ruling was sound and appropriate in accordance with prior case law.