James Crosby

Ithaca, N.Y. — A Van Etten man was sentenced to 4 to 12 years in prison Friday afternoon in the Tompkins County Courthouse after being convicted of manslaughter. His sentence is effective immediately.

James Crosby, 20, was behind the wheel in a New Year’s Eve crash in 2013 that took the lives of his passenger, Derek Nichols, 20, and a passenger in the other car, Kathy Lattimore, 67. Crosby’s Monte Carlo entered the other lane and collided head on with the Jeep Cherokee carrying Lattimore. The driver of the Jeep, Samantha Aarnio and another passenger, Eugene Aarnio, were taken to a hospital.

On Dec. 14, 2014, Judge John Rowley found Crosby guilty in a non-jury trial on two counts of second-degree manslaughter, second and third-degree assault and of reckless driving, saying Crosby was “solely responsible” for the fatal accident.

The Ithaca Voice previously reported on the defense and prosecution of this case regarding investigator Travis Webster’s reconstruction of the accident. Webster’s reconstruction report concluded that Crosby’s vehicle was going between 84 and 90 miles per hour just before the crash. Read about the prosecution arguments here.

The defense argued that the calculations of Crosby’s speed were incorrect, with testament from forensic witness William C. Fischer saying Webster began his reconstruction assuming that Crosby was traveling fast. Read about the defense arguments here.

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