SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Local News

November 8, 2012

Teen gets 30 days for drunken crash

PEABODY — A Peabody teenager will serve 30 days in jail next month after admitting yesterday that he was drunk and speeding at more than 100 mph when he crashed into a West Peabody home last year.

Robert Habeeb Jr., 19, of 22 Perley Ave. pleaded guilty to charges of drunken driving and driving to endanger during a hearing yesterday in Peabody District Court, where prosecutors were seeking at least a year behind bars and another 18 months of suspended jail time for the college student.

Instead, Judge Richard Mori imposed a 21/2-year term, but suspended all but 30 days of the sentence, which Habeeb will begin serving on Dec. 17.

Mori also imposed a three-year term of probation, with conditions that include a 14-day in-patient alcohol program, payment of $1,448 in restitution and regular reporting to a probation officer.

The judge’s sentence, while offering less committed jail time than prosecutors had sought, was harsher than the disposition requested by Habeeb and his lawyer: a one-year continuation without a finding and a year of probation. That would have spared Habeeb a record of conviction.

Habeeb also will lose his driver’s license for 210 days.

Prosecutor Janelle Amadon cited the high blood alcohol level — 0.20, according to a blood test — and high speed — 109 mph, as determined by the car’s “black box” — in recommending that Habeeb serve one full year in jail.

The crash occurred on Dec. 11, after Habeeb left a house party on Elizabeth Lane.

The 2001 Chevrolet Monte Carlo got up to 109 mph five seconds before it struck a stone wall, went airborne and crashed into a Herrick Road home, according to data retrieved from the car.

Both the car and the house caught fire, and Habeeb was trapped in the wreckage, potentially endangering the firefighters who had to rescue him, prosecutors said during his arraignment in January.

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