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Here is One Man's Sobering Story

A Tuesday, March 28, 2000 headline of the Arizona Republic read. . .

Man Gets 20 Years in DUI Death

Senta Scarborough
The Arizona Republic

(Phoenix)  Richard Foley was sentenced to 20 years in prison without parole by a judge who called his earlier DUI a "chilling preview" of the 1999 accident that killed a Xavier promgoer.

Foley, 50, was sentenced Monday by Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Susan Bolton. He pleaded guilty in December to second degree murder in the collision that killed Emily Ell, 17, a Xavier College Preparatory School senior who had just left her prom in Paradise Valley.

In 1988, Foley was convicted of driving while intoxicated after he lost control of his car and crashed into a fence while doing about 80 mph along Scottsdale Road.

Foley, who was using a cane Monday, said in court that he was sorry for causing the teen's death, adding that there was "no excuse and never could be an excuse."

However, he also maintained he did not remember the events of the fatal crash and that he did not intend to hurt anyone.

"If I'd only been home with my family at 11:30 p.m. that night, as I should have been, Emily would still be alive," Foley said. "I'm not a monster."

The courtroom was packed with Ell's family members, classmates, teachers and friends, who sought the maximum penalty for Foley. Many in attendance wore flowers in memory of Ell. Some quietly sobbed during the hearing.

Ell's immediate family didn't speak at the hearing, but other relatives described their loss.

"It's an empty, dark, lonely and sad place we inhabit," said Tom White, Emily's uncle.

Prosecutors contend that on the day of the accident, Foley meant to get drunk, spending five or six hours and hundreds of dollars at Babe's Cabaret in south Scottsdale.

Though two bartenders cut Foley off and offered taxi rides, Foley angrily left, prosecutors said. He later rear-ended Ell and her date Peter Meyer. Meyer suffered minor injuries.

Foley's daughter and several neighbors came to his defense in court, however, describing him as a good father and friend who was always there for them and would never mean to hurt anybody.

Copyright © MM - Arizona Republic

  Don't Drink and Drive! 
  Better yet. . . don't drink! 

Alcohol abuse is involved in at least one traffic
fatality every half-hour in the United States.

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