By Jenn Schanz, News 4 Reporter – BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — A 44-year-old Buffalo man will spend at least the next year and half behind bars for fatally striking a 7-month-old girl with his car in June.
D'Andre Turner was driving high on marijuana June 19 when he hit three pedestrians on Moselle Street; 7-month-old Nyree Greene, her mother 23-year-old Shannon Anderson, and her aunt 28-year-old Britney Davis.
Both Anderson and Davis, who were injured in the crash, spoke before Justice Penny Wolfgang Monday morning during sentencing.
"It hurts me that I now have to see my niece through pictures," Davis said.
An emotional Turner wept in court while apologizing to the victims' family.
"I hope one day they can forgive me," he said.
Justice Wolfgang sentenced Turner to 1.5-3 years in state prison from Criminally Negligent Homicide, an E Felony. Turner was also charged with Driving While Impaired by the Influence of Drugs and two counts of Assault in the Third Degree, all of which he pleaded guilty to.
Greene's family feels justice was not served. They told News 4 they would have liked to see Turner sentenced to the maximum 2-4 years.
"She lost her life, she didn't get a chance to do anything. We didn't get a chance to see her crawl, she was just learning how to crawl," said Greene's grandmother Marcell Ellis.
Family members held photos of Greene up in court during Turner's sentencing.
Turner was reportedly reaching for a pen in his car during the time of accident.
"He ruined our family life for a pen that he so-called was bending down for. He ruined our family life, for what?" Ellis said
Acting Erie County District Attorney Michael J. Flaherty noted Turner's remorse and cooperation from the the beginning. He said the judgement was a sound one.
"Even if Mr. Turner has gotten life in prison, that's not going to bring Nyree back. And there's nothing we could ever do. Their hearts are heavy and we grieve with them," he said.
Flaherty also said this tragedy should serve as a reminder of how dangerous impaired driving can be,
"A little bit can be too much, and that's what happened here."
As Greene's family was leaving court Monday, Ellis spoke about how especially hard this holiday season will be on the family.
"I'm going to be going up to my granddaughter's grave for Christmas. That's what I'm going to be doing for her first Christmas," she said.