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Marchant sentenced to year in jail for fatal DWI crash

Union Leader Correspondent

February 10. 2015 11:46PM

Ryan Marchant 

DOVER — Ryan Marchant, found guilty last month of aggravated driving while intoxicated in a crash that killed a former New Hampshire district court judge, was sentenced to a year in jail on Tuesday.

Strafford County Superior Court Judge Philip Mangones, who presided over Marchant’s week-long trial, sentenced the 24-year-old to the Strafford County House of Corrections.

Before the Feb. 23, 2013, crash, Marchant had been visiting with friends at the University of New Hampshire, and they spent time in downtown bars. Marchant slept for a few hours before getting behind the wheel to get to work the next morning. The head-on crash happened around 9 a.m. on Route 4 in Durham.

Marchant was acquitted last month on a negligent homicide charge in the death of Bruce Larson, 74. The jury was hung on a second negligent homicide charge, which alleged Marchant was driving at unsafe speeds and attempting to improperly pass another vehicle.

During the sentencing hearing, Strafford County Attorney Andi Mitrushi used examples from various social media sites, including Facebook and Twitter, that she said showed the type of person Marchant was leading up to the crash.

She described Marchant, of Wakefield, Mass., as a college student who liked to party with his friends and smoke marijuana. She cited comments from Marchant that he couldn’t wait to “get sloshed.”

She said that despite the fact Marchant may have made some changes in his life after the fatal accident, it was important to understand who he was prior to that.

“One would hope that something that significant and that serious would have an effect,” she said.

Mitrushi said that Marchant had yet to take responsibility for his actions.

Defense attorney John Gillen disagreed.

“This is a fine young man with a fine background, fine family ... who tried to do the right thing that night,” Gillen said.

The aggravated driving while intoxicated charge was for injuries that Marchant caused to his passenger in the crash, Martin Hyppolite, a football player at the University of Connecticut.

Hyppolite told police that the two men shared a bottle of vodka with two other friends before heading into downtown Durham, stopping at several bars the night before the crash.

As part of his sentencing, Marchant also had his license suspended for two years. However, since he has been without a license since the accident, that two-year suspension has just over a month left.

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