KINGSTON – A Poughkeepsie man was sentenced in Ulster County Court on Tuesday to 25 years to life in prison for his conviction to murder in connection with a high-speed crash that resulted in the death of a Lloyd woman.
Ryan Williams, 29, was driving a Porsche at speeds of over 128 miles per hour as he fled from a Town of Lloyd police officer. At the intersection of Route 299 and South Street in the Town of Lloyd, Williams crossed into oncoming traffic, narrowly missing an ambulance, and struck a pickup truck killing the driver, Danielle Pecoraro.
Her daughter, Mercedes Rosado, a passenger in the truck, was seriously injured as was a passenger in a vehicle which Williams’ vehicle crashed into following the impact with the pickup truck.
Williams’ blood alcohol content at the time of the crash was .33 percent, more than four times the legal limit.
Prior to trial, the district attorney’s office sought to have evidence that he had been convicted of crimes committed while fleeing from a police officer on four previous occasions, arguing the information is relevant to the jury’s determination on whether Williams was acting with depraved indifference to human life. But, the court ruled the evidence of his previous fleeing from an officer, though relevant, would be prejudicial to Williams, and the jury was not allowed to hear that proof.
At sentencing, Rosado, the oldest of Pecoraro’s four children, addressed the court. “Someone was going to die that day… the community lost a gem of a woman but I lost my best friend. Why did I live and she die? I live every day with the pain of losing my best friend.”
In his comments to the court, prosecuting attorney Joey Drilling said Williams “acted with an utter disregard to the value of human life – a willingness to act, not because he intended grievous harm to the person who he killed, but because he simply did not care whether or not grievous harm resulted.”
Williams, who had not had a valid driver’s license since 2011, stated in court papers filed before sentencing that he did not intend to injure anyone.
Judge Donald Williams told Williams as he handed down the sentence that “your action and conviction legally and morally rises to the same level as premeditated or intentional murder.”