Michael Fowler, 39, of Peabody, pleaded guilty in Salem Superior Court on Friday. "Judge Howard Whitehead sentenced him to two and a half to three years in state prison followed by five years of probation during which Fowler is ordered to remain alcohol free, to attend AA meetings, not to drive and to speak to high school students about drunk driving," according to the Essex District Attorney's Office.
“Many lives have been ruined because of one person’s decision to drive while drunk,” District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett said. “The defendant’s young family is devastated and, of course, the victim’s family has suffered an unspeakable loss.”
The DA's office said they would have introduced evidence proving that the defendant was driving his 2010 Hyundai on Walnut Street in Peabody while under the influence of alcohol. Fowler drove his car into a parked flatbed tow truck, which killed Walker.
Fowler fled the scene, but was later arrested by Peabody Police about one-third of a mile from the crash scene, said the DA's office.
The DA's office said he had a blood alcohol level of .24.
The DA's office had recommended a six- to eight-year state prison sentence followed by five years of probation.
The judge will execute the sentence on April 29 to allow the Peabody man to get his affairs in order, said the DA's office.