Man sentenced on lesser charges for crash that killed Trooper Kenny Velez

Posted at 10:30 AM, Sep 08, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-08 17:20:01-04

Joshua Gaspar was sentenced Friday morning on his remaining charges for his role in the crash that claimed the life of Trooper Kenny Velez in September 2016.

Gaspar was found not guilty on the vehicular homicide charge after two days of jury deliberations.

He was sentenced on the lesser charges of tampering with records, falsification and motor vehicle offenses.

Before Gaspar's sentencing, Judge Michael Russo commented on the trial process.

"It's difficult to divorce the testimony and the incident in which Trooper Velez lost his life from the crimes that are actually sentenced upon here, but that is what the court is doing. I understand that there is much emotion as there should be, on both sides of this issue involving Trooper Velez's family, Mr. Gaspar's family, as well as the community. But I'm only sentencing on the misdemeanor offenses for which he was convicted," said Judge Russo.

Gaspar was sentenced to one year in jail with credit for time served so he will spend 185 days in jail, starting today.

A spokesperson for the Velez family read a statement by Andrea Velez, the daughter of Trooper Velez.

The spokesperson said Andrea told the court that she had been avoiding coming to the hearings. 

"I didn't want to see the man who took my father's life in person. I didn't want to associate the face with the name. I didn't want to look up and see the monstrous person everyone made you out to be. But I'm sitting here now. I look up and I don't see a monster. I see a human being that made a mistake. A careless mistake that took my hero's life. Yes. But all humans make mistakes," said Velez.

The spokesperson also read a statement from Trooper Velez's mother, Ana Velez, saying "It's my feeling that Mr. Gaspar got away with killing my son. Justice was not served... the jury let us down."

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