There were mixed feelings Monday in State Supreme Court when D’Andre Turner was sentenced, but everyone agreed on one thing: Nothing that happened there would bring back Nyree Greene, who was in her stroller last June when Turner’s car struck and killed her on Moselle Street.
Turner, 44, was sentenced to 1 1/2 to 3 years in prison after having pleaded guilty to criminally negligent homicide, third-degree assault and driving while ability impaired.
On the evening of June 19, Turner’s car crossed onto the opposite side of the neighborhood street and struck the stroller as well as Nyree’s mother, Shannon Anderson, and the baby’s aunt, Britney Davis. The women had taken the stroller into the side of the street because the sidewalk was crumbling and uneven.
Nyree, who was 7 months old, was thrown 40 feet by the impact and suffered fatal traumatic injuries.
Davis, whose legs were broken in the crash, and Anderson made brief statements before Justice Penny M. Wolfgang pronounced Turner's sentence.
“It hurts me that I have to see my niece through pictures instead of in person,” Davis said. “We had her such a short time, and now to not be able to see her or to actually touch her ...” Davis cried as she returned to her seat.
Anderson, wearing a shirt with the words “Team Nyree” down the sleeves, struggled while speaking to the judge and to Turner. He was the reason, she said, that she will never see her one and only child again, and that she and her sister will go through life coping with their injuries.
“I am playing it over and over again in my mind,” Anderson said. “Thinking about what we did and wishing we could go back and do something different."
It has been six months since her daughter died and she still struggles, she said.
“My family’s messed up. My life is messed up. I hurt every day,” Anderson said.
Turner kept his head bowed during the statements and while his attorney, Lori Hoffman, reminded the judge that he had been fully cooperative throughout the case.
“He stayed at the scene. He complied with the drug recognition expert. And the drug recognition expert found no sign of impairment,” Hoffman said. It remains unclear why his car swerved that night. A blood test found evidence of slight marijuana use.
Turner also gave to statements to police without requesting an attorney and, when Hoffman was assigned, told her he did not want the case to go to the grand jury or to trial.
“He immediately told me ‘I don’t want the family to have to go through anything more,’ ” Hoffman said.
Turner, who also was crying, told Nyree’s family that he knew how hard it was, having flashbacks and not sleeping.
“I apologize and I hope one day, one year, they can forgive me,” Turner said. His voice breaking, he added, “I really apologize, I’m sorry.”
Wolfgang acknowledged Turner’s cooperation and his extreme remorse, but added, “There is nothing the court can do to reverse the consequences of Mr. Turner driving that night.”
She also pointed out that the criminally negligent homicide charge contains the word "negligent" for a reason – that the crime was not reckless or deliberate.
The maximum possible sentence was 2 to 4 years in prison. In addition to the sentence of up to three years in state prison, Turner will lose his driver’s license for a certain period and face a number of fines.
Story topics: State Supreme Court