Terry Naugle’s unprecedented history of drunk driving requires unprecedented punishment, a Crown prosecutor argued yesterday at Naugle’s sentencing hearing at Dartmouth provincial court.
Citing his 22 drunk driving-related convictions spanning over three decades, prosecutor Cheryl Byard called Naugle “the worst of the worst known offenders in Nova Scotia.”
She’s seeking maximum sentences of five years for impaired driving and five years for driving while prohibited, for a total 10-year sentence after Naugle, 52, hit a vehicle containing the McMillan family last March.
Byard said Naugle has “been given every chance,” but continues to endanger the public. “I can only describe Mr. Naugle as incorrigible,” she said.
Defence lawyer Peter Planetta said he couldn’t find any examples of such a strong sentence. He argued for four years. Along with Naugle’s age and health concerns — he had a heart attack in 2008 — Planetta said Naugle’s troubled childhood left him with an alcohol addiction he’s battled his entire life.
The lawyer said Naugle started drinking at age 11 and was sexually abused by his parole officer, for which he was awarded a settlement.
“It’s important for a court to know who a person is and how they came to be that person,” Planetta told the court.
The dramatic hearing included members of the McMillan family delivering tearful victim-impact statements.
“I have nightmares of hearing my daughter screaming and seeing my husband hit,” said Julia McMillan as she glared at Naugle. Naugle, who is from the Truro region, looked down and avoided her gaze.
He made no statement yesterday, but said through his lawyer he accepts responsibility and is sorry.
Peter and Julia McMillan and their 13-year-old daughter Jillian were driving on Highway 102 on March 28, 2009, when they ran out of gas and pulled over at the Enfield on-ramp. After returning from a nearby gas station, Peter was metres away when Naugle crashed his car into the McMillans’ vehicle and drove off.
“I hope he knows how hard it was and how traumatizing it was for me,” Jillian told reporters.
“He hit our vehicle and he just left. He didn’t know if we were OK, if we were hurt, if we were even dead.”
Terry Naugle will be sentenced at Dartmouth provincial court on Feb. 12.