A former Vermont military college student who packed six classmates into his car after a party last fall and drove drunk, then crashed, killing one student and critically injuring three, was sentenced Tuesday to 2½ years in prison after more than two hours of emotional testimony from the victims’ families.
A judge accepted a plea agreement for Derek Seber, 23, of Gaithersburg, Md., giving him a suspended sentence of five to 12 years, with 30 months to serve, for the crash that killed Norwich University freshman Renee Robbins, 18, of Kentwood, Mich.
He called Seber a Jekyll and Hyde – a smart, ambitious student who had been accepted into West Point but had a dark side: his growing abuse of alcohol.
“Can you imagine the concentric rings of sadness and pain and tragedy that your moment of poor judgment has created?” Superior Court Judge Howard VanBenthuysen said. “It has rippled down through the world. Look at the number of people who are here today whose lives are forever changed by your behavior.”
Robbins’ father, Mark Robbins, a Massachusetts state trooper, said he could never forgive Seber for killing his firstborn child. He said if he could convince the judge that the death sentence is appropriate, he’d try.
“My daughters and her friends simply wanted a safe ride home, not a one-way hell ride down a windy rainy road,” he said. “You ignored their pleas to slow down and to stop driving recklessly…..MORE