TEEN GET SIX YEARS FOR AUTO DEATH

A 19-year-old man said to be a resident of Red Bank was sentenced to six years in state prison Thursday following his guilty plea in February to vehicular homicide while driving drunk in Middletown, the Monmouth County Prosecutor announced Thursday.

Here’s the full announcement:

Adam F. Sofio was sentenced today to serve six years in New Jersey State Prison for recklessly causing the death of one Middletown teen, and severely injuring another, by operating a motor vehicle at a high rate of speed while drunk, Prosecutor Peter E. Warshaw, Jr. announced.

Superior Court Judge Anthony J. Mellaci, Jr. also suspended Sofio’s driver’s license for five years upon the completion of his prison term, ordered Sofio to serve three years of parole supervision, and to pay a total of $994 in fines and penalties.

Sofio, 19, of Red Bank, pleaded guilty before Judge Mellaci on February 16 to a two-count Accusation that charged him with second-degree vehicular homicide and thirddegree assault by auto. At the plea hearing, Sofio admitted to consuming a substantial amount of alcohol and operating a vehicle at more than three times the posted 25 mph speed limit on Cooper Road. As a result of his reckless actions and behavior, Sofio further admitted to causing the death of Paul T. Bradley, 18, of Middletown and serious bodily injuries to John F. Vogel, 19, of Middletown.

The criminal investigation revealed that on February 27, 2011, at approximately 2:05 a.m., Sofio was driving his 1992 Honda Accord on Cooper Avenue in Middletown when he lost control of his car, skidded off sideways off the road approximately 185 feet and struck a tree on a residential property. As a result, Sofio’s car split into two pieces and his front seat passenger, Paul Bradley, sustained massive injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene. Sofio’s rear seat passenger, John Vogel, suffered serious injuries and was transported to Jersey Shore University Medical Center for treatment. He was later released.

Subsequent investigation further revealed that Sofio was driving at speeds exceeding 87 M.P.H. on Cooper Road, and that he maintained a .314% blood-alcohol concentration less than two hours after the crash. Toxicology results also indicated that Sofio who, at the time was driving on a provisional license, had also recently ingested a quantity of marijuana. Sofio was arrested on May 9, 2011 and was later released from the Monmouth County Correctional Institution after posting $200,000 bail, set by Superior Court Judge Thomas F. Scully.

The vehicular homicide charge is subject to the “No Early Release Act,” which means that Sofio must serve 85% of any sentence imposed prior to becoming eligible for parole.

Warshaw thanked the Middletown Police Department for their assistance in this investigation. The State was represented by First Assistant Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni. Sofio was represented by Mitchell Ansell, Esq. of Ocean.