A judge Wednesday spared a Hamburg man from going to jail but sentenced him to six months of house arrest and ordered him to pay $12,416 to the widow of a motorcyclist killed in a drunken-driving
Robert M. Hebner, 34, who was involved in the Sept. 29, 1995, accident on Big Tree Road in Hamburg, said, "I wish I had died."
Robert J. Esch, 42, was fatally injured when Hebner made a turn at Richcrest Drive in front of Esch's oncoming motorcycle about 6 p.m.
Esch was driving his new motorcycle for the first time to the Orchard Park home where he and his wife had moved the week before.
Hebner pleaded guilty before State Supreme Court Justice Ronald H. Tills to reduced charges of criminally negligent homicide and driving while alcohol-impaired. Hebner had been indicted on a charge of vehicular manslaughter.
The judge denied a request from the victim's widow, Margaret Esch, 45, to send Hebner to jail. But the judge imposed house arrest on Hebner for the next six months and ordered him to use and pay for electronic monitoring devices
during that time.
The judge also ordered Hebner to perform 400 hours of community service at area hospitals and attend a crime victims' impact panel discussion.
Tills also suspended Hebner's driver's license for five years, and ordered him to join Alcoholics Anonymous and submit to and personally pay for substance-abuse testing and any counseling he is ordered to
Tills warned him that if he violates any of the probation mandates, he will be sentenced to a prison term of 16 months to four years.