'Melrose Place' actress Amy Locane-Bovenizer guilty of vehicular homicide
Amy Locane-Bovenizer, who played Sandy on the original "Melrose Place" and was also romanced by Johnny Depp in the 1990 film "Cry-Baby," was on Tuesday convicted of vehicular homicide, stemming from a DUI crash.
Prosecutors say that the 40-year-old actress drove drunk and crashed her 2007 Chevy Tahoe into a vehicle driven by a 60-year-old man, as he was trying to pull into a driveway in New Jersey, the star's home state. His wife and two children's mother, who was in the passenger's seat, was pronounced dead at the scene.
Locane-Bovenizer, a mother of two little girls, faces five to 10 years in prison for second-degree death by auto, otherwise known as vehicular homicide, and would be required to serve a minimum of 85 percent of that sentence without parole, the Associated Press reported. She also faces an additional three to five years behind bars for a conviction of third-degree assault by auto, issued because the husband sustained serious injuries.
Locane-Bovenizer's bail was revoked. She was also acquitted of a more serious charge of aggravated manslaughter, which would have carried a maximum punishment of 30 years in prison. Her sentencing date was set for March 1.
Witnesses said the actress had consumed alcohol at a barbecue she attended with her family and left by herself. The actress' lawyer had said that despite evidence that actress was intoxicated -- with a blood-alcohol level that was nearly three times the legal limit -- Locane-Bovenizer should not be held criminally responsible for the crash.
The attorney had argued that Locane-Bovenizer had been speeding because she was being chased by a third driver and because of that, there was reasonable doubt that she alone played a role in the woman's death.
Minutes before the accident, she had rear-ended another woman's vehicle at an intersection. The two both got out of the cars and then the actress took off again after the person tried to call the police, prosecutors said. The woman then pursued her on the road for several miles.
The person testified that she had noticed Locane-Bovenizer was intoxicated and told her to turn off her SUV. The actress' attorney said the person tried to grab Locane-Bovenizer's keys, which the woman denied. The defense argued that the incident frightened Locane-Bovenizer, which affected her driving.
The actress' husband Mark Bovenizer, a wine educator and liquor store owner, appeared at Tuesday's hearing. He and his wife have not commented about the verdict. Locane-Bovenizer remains in jail.
The actress played Sandy during the first season of the original "Melrose Place" primetime soap opera in 1992 (watch a video clip, courtesy of CBS). She also portrayed "good girl" Allison Vernon-Williams, who falls for "bad boy" Cry-Baby Walker, played by Depp, in the 1990 cult musical movie "Cry-Baby."
Locane-Bovenizer also co-starred with Brendan Fraser in the 1992 drama "School Ties" and in the 1994 rocker comedy film "Airheads" and played Maggie Gyllenhaal's character's sister in the 2002 movie "Secretary." Locane-Bovenizer's final major on-screen acting project was the 2005 SyFy TV movie "Alien Express."
(Pictured above, clockwise from top left: Amy Locane-Bovenizer, 40, of Hopewell Township, N.J., appears in court at her trial as a jury convicts her of vehicular homicide on Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2012 in Somerville, N.J. / Amy Locane-Bovenizer is taken into custody after jurors issue the verdict. / Amy Locane-Bovenizer's husband, Mark Bovenizer, appears in court. / The actress appears in scenes from the movie 'Cry-Baby' and the '90s TV show 'Melrose Place.')