BY ROBERT L. BAKER
Joseph Habib, 25, will face not less than 14 months nor more than 120 months plus a fine for his role in losing control of an all-terrain-vehicle from which Laura Leigh Wilson, 22, of Levittown died.
They had been in Wyoming County for the Fourth of July weekend, when around 10:40 p.m. on July 3, the ATV left SR 4001 in Windham Township and hit a tree and then a utility pole.
Wilson died of multiple traumatic injuries.
Wyoming County District Attorney George Skumanick Jr. said that Habib had both alcohol and cocaine in his system at the time of the accident.
In a statement to Wyoming County President Judge Brendan Vanston, Habib’s attorney said that Habib accepted responsibility for what happened, was a friend of the victim’s and “never intended for something like this to happen.”
He acknowledged that his own client Habib also had physical injuries and it was just a “truly tragic accident.”
Wilson’s brother, Timothy Patrick Wilson Jr., asked Vanston if a statement on the victim’s family’s behalf could be made.
In a broken voice, Wilson looked at Habib and said, “We have to live every day knowing that there’s no way she’s ever coming back.”
He added, “You have literally taken apart our family.”
The brother said the family was initially told that the accident occurred because Habib was trying to avoid hitting a deer. “That’s unacceptable under the circumstances.”
“You killed my little sister,” he said.
And to make matters worse, Wilson noted that in the days following the accident, Habib told the victim’s mom that no drugs were involved. “It turned my mom’s world upside down to learn something different,” he said.
The brother asked the judge to give the maximum sentence allowable.
Skumanick said later that he felt the plea arrangement was satisfactory.
The district attorney said that although Habib apparently came from a respectable family, it had been admitted that the defendant got involved with drugs about nine years earlier.
“Sooner or later people have got to realize what drugs are doing to their systems,” Skumanick said. “It’s safe to say that if Mr. Habib hadn’t been doing drugs that day, this very likely would never have occurred.”