By Joe Beck - firstname.lastname@example.org
A man convicted in the drunken-driving related deaths of a couple and their two children was sentenced Tuesday in Frederick County Circuit Court to a total of 20 years in prison on four counts of aggravated involuntary manslaughter, plus several lesser charges.
Retired Circuit Judge Benjamin Kendrick imposed the sentence on Steven A. Boyce 22, of 221 Hawk Trail, Shawneeland. Boyce's convictions stemmed from a fiery vehicle crash on June 26 at the intersection of Martinsburg Pike and Interstate 81.
Amanda and Mark Roe and their children, Caleb and Tyler, died in the accident.
Test results later showed Boyce had a blood alcohol concentration of 0.33 percent at the time that his Chevrolet S10 pickup truck rear ended the Roe family's Jeep Cherokee sport utility vehicle, according to evidence presented at an earlier court hearing.
Autopsies performed on the victims showed that Amanda and Mark Roe died from burns and smoke inhalation after the impact, which caused the Jeep's gas tank to burst into flames. Another autopsy report presented at the plea hearing in late August showed that Amanda and Mark Roe remained in the front seat during the crash, and their children stayed buckled in the rear seats and died of blunt force trauma.
Boyce could have been sentenced to up to 85 years in prison on all his convictions, which also included drunken driving, underage possession of alcohol and probation revocation.
Kendrick suspended five of the 20 years sentence he imposed on Boyce on each of the four manslaughter counts and also made the sentences concurrent. He sentenced Boyce to one year in jail for the drunken driving conviction and one year in jail for underage possession of alcohol, both sentences to be served consecutively.
Boyce also received a three-year prison sentence on a probation revocation. The three years will be served consecutive to the rest of his sentence.
The probation was linked to a three-year suspended prison sentence Boyce received in 2010 for selling marijuana. Conviction of the other offenses connected to the crash constituted a violation of his probation.