BRIDGEPORT, Connecticut — A former Connecticut state trooper was sentenced Friday to a year in prison for stealing $3,700 in cash and a gold crucifix from a dying accident victim.
Aaron Huntsman, 45, apologized at his sentencing hearing and said he wasn't the same man he was at the time of the 2012 accident, the Connecticut Post (http://bit.ly/1tMiwHX ) reported.
"I'm truly sorry for everything, I never realized a simple gold crucifix could cause so much hurt," Huntsman told Judge Robert Devlin. Devlin told Huntsman that he should have been the one person at the crash scene who could have been trusted.
"You threw that trust out the window," he said. The judge sentenced Huntsman to five years, suspended after one year and followed by three years of probation.
Huntsman's attorney, Ryan McGuigan, said alcoholism was to blame for the 18-year police veteran's lapse in judgment.
Huntsman pleaded guilty in July to larceny and evidence tampering under the Alford Doctrine, meaning he does not agree with the state's case but concedes there is enough evidence to convict him. He has resigned from the state police.
Prosecutors said Huntsman was caught on his cruiser's video camera stealing from John Scalesse, 49, who lay dying after his motorcycle crashed on the Merritt Parkway in Fairfield on on Sept. 22, 2012. They said he later told Scalesse's family he didn't see any money on his body; it was found under the seat in Huntsman's patrol car.
Scalesse's mother, Marguerite, told the judge: "I cry constantly and I agonize over the thought of someone treating my son in the last moments of his beautiful life so disrespectfully.
"Stealing from anyone is shameful, but stealing a crucifix from a dying person is sacrilegious," she said.
Information from: Connecticut Post, http://www.connpost.com